Dealing with insurance companies after getting hurt can be a daunting task. While most insurance providers honor their commitments and provide the necessary support, some resort to bad faith practices, making an already challenging situation even more difficult. In California, the insurance code outlines the responsibilities of insurance companies to act fairly and in good faith, but what does it look like when they do not?
Recognizing the signs of a bad-faith insurance settlement can be the difference between getting the compensation you deserve and having less than you need to recover. Here are some signs that an insurance company might not be dealing with you in good faith.
1. Unreasonable delays
One of the most common signs of bad faith is unreasonable delays in processing your claim. While all claims take time, excessive delays without proper explanation may indicate that the insurance company is not acting in your best interests.
2. Inadequate investigation
Another sign of bad faith is if the insurance company does not conduct an adequate investigation of your claim. They should gather all relevant facts before making a decision.
3. Denying your claim without reason
If the insurance company denies your claim without giving a clear and valid reason, this may be a sign of bad faith.
4. Making misleading statements
The technical jargon in an insurance policy often makes it difficult to understand and can make it easier for companies to deny claims. Also, if an insurance company misleads you about your policy or the law, it could be acting in bad faith.
5. Lowball settlement offers
Offering significantly less money than your claim is worth, known as a “lowball” offer, is a classic sign of bad faith.
6. Refusing to pay a valid claim
If your claim is valid and the insurance company still refuses to pay, it is likely acting in bad faith.
By knowing these signs of a bad-faith insurance settlement, you can ensure you are in a better position to seek the compensation you deserve after an injury.