Generally, insurance bad faith takes place when insurance companies fail to act reasonably and properly when dealing with their insured.
Q: Does insurance bad faith apply only to certain types of insurance claims?
Whenever there is insurance contract, the insurance company can act in bad faith.
Insurance companies make a lot of promises in the insurance policies they sell to their insureds. The main promise is that the insurance company will be there for the insured’s peace of mind when an accident or catastrophic event occurs.
That promise includes the insurer’s promise it will be there to help at the insured’s time of need and assist with the claim. It is not meant to be an adversarial process, but too often it evolves into an adversarial process. If you ever feel like it’s getting to that point, it’s time to call an attorney and see what your rights are.
Q: If defendants in a car accident don’t feel they are adequately represented by the lawyer assigned to them by the insurance company, would that be an insurance bad faith case?
Potentially. It has to be documented and the defendants need to write to the insurance company and the attorney saying they don’t feel like the insurance company’s attorney has been advocating according to the best interests of the insured, or that the insurance company’s interests were placed ahead of their interests.
When it’s documented and in writing, such as emails and letters, we can evaluate your case. Phone calls are more challenging because the claims representative gets off the phone and puts it into the claims file according to their version of the conversation. It becomes a one-sided, skewed view of the conversation. It could also be manipulated or made to sound like everything is okay.
That’s why letters and emails are so important, because then you are getting the true sense of what’s going on and it’s not a watered-down version that is put into a file by an employee of the insurance company.