When you buy an insurance policy, you expect the insurance company to pay your claims promptly without playing games. Unfortunately, in all too many cases, that is not what happens. The insurance company will try to avoid paying your claim, or offer you a settlement that is much lower than your actual damages.
If this is happening to you, you need to know that these kinds of practices are illegal. They are called “dealing in bad faith,” and both state and federal laws prohibit this behavior.
Insurance contracts are written in complicated, often unintelligible language, making it hard for you to know whether you are really covered. And, you are one person trying to fight a huge company.
If you even the playing field by contacting an experienced insurance lawyer, you may find that the insurance company stops playing games and pays your claim or makes a reasonable settlement offer, because you know your rights.
What are some common insurance company practices that may constitute bad faith?
In West Virginia, bad faith is defined by West Virginia state law. Some of the most common illegal tactics include:
-Refusing to investigate or even acknowledge your claim
-Requiring you to answer the same questions or send in the same paperwork over and over again, prolonging the claims process unnecessarily
-Taking an unreasonable position as to the meaning of the contract so that it can claim that you are not covered
-Refusing to make a reasonable settlement offer, or offering you an obviously inadequate amount to settle your claim, in the hopes that aggravation or financial pressure will force you to accept it
-In a case where you have been sued and the insurer is required to provide you with legal services as part of the contract, refusing to do so or otherwise not defending your case fully
-Refusing to indemnify you, that is, to pay any judgment or settlement against you up to the limits of your policy
A West Virginia insurance lawyer can help you determine whether the insurance company’s behavior constitutes bad faith and what you can do to get the reimbursement you deserve.
A West Virginia insurance law firm with the experience to fight back against bad faith practices
If you are being given the runaround by your insurance company, call the Cooper Law Offices, PLLC at 304-842-0505 today for a free consultation. Our experienced insurance attorneys have worked for insurance companies in the past, so they are intimately familiar with how these companies do business and what they need to do to ensure that you need to get a fair result.
Cooper Law Offices PLLC
240 West Main Street
Bridgeport, WV 26330