California Insurance Bad Faith Claim Attorneys
You pay your monthly insurance premiums to give yourself and your loved ones peace of mind. Your reasonable expectation is that your insurance carrier will be there to protect you in any worst case scenario covered within your contract.
When an insurance company unreasonably refuses to pay your claim, or refuses to properly defend and protect you from the claims of others it can be extremely stressful and, worse yet, financially devastating. This is what is legally termed “insurance bad faith,” when an insurer attempts to renege on its duties to a policyholder through the use of negligent or deceptive tactics.
Insurance companies have a legal obligation to provide coverage, uphold the terms of the policy you are paying for, act in your best interest, and to pay valid claims as outlined by the parameters of your contract. We help hold your insurance carrier accountable. Our California insurance bad faith attorneys advocate for you against insurance companies when they fail or refuse to pay on your valid policy claim.
What Qualifies for an Insurance Bad Faith Claim
Examples of insurers acting in bad faith include:
- Misrepresentation of contract terms and language
- Nondisclosure of policy provisions, exclusions, and terms
- Failure to uphold standards of timely investigation and claim processing
- Failure to make a good faith effort to fairly settle claims on your behalf
- Negligence or failure to respond to policyholder claim
- Unreasonable denials of policy claims
- Advising you not hire an attorney
- Misrepresentation of statute of limitations
What doesn’t constitute insurance bad faith?
- Simple mistakes in claim processing
- Disagreement regarding the value of a claim between adjuster and policyholder
If you feel like you have been unfairly treated by your insurer, or that they have mishandled your claim, schedule a free consultation with our bad faith insurance attorneys to help you navigate the legal process and protect your rights.
What types of insurance are covered by insurance bad faith laws in California?
Insurance bad faith protections are in place for all types of insurance policies and contracts. We represent clients facing bad faith claims with:
- Auto Insurance
- Homeowner’s Insurance
- Health Insurance
- Life Insurance
- Professional Liability Insurance
What legal duties does an insurance company have to fulfill when handling your claim?
As a policyholder, you pay your premium and, in doing so, are owed various duties by your insurer. Insurance companies have a legal duty to act in the best interest of their policyholders.
Failure by your insurer to uphold these duties can constitute bad faith:
- Duty to provide coverage
- Duty to uphold the terms of your policy
- Duty to properly investigate claims
- Duty to indemnify
- Duty to defend
- Duty to reasonably settle claims
- Implied duty of good faith
Do I need an attorney to file an insurance bad faith claim in California?
California’s consumer protection laws are some of the best in the country and as such you can file your own insurance claim through the Department of Insurance. California insurance bad faith laws protect policyholders by creating avenues for fighting the insurance giants through a complaint process and potential mediation or a bad faith lawsuit. Our insurance bad faith attorneys can help you decide your next steps, whether you hire us or not.
Here’s how you can best prepare to make a complaint or file a lawsuit against your insurance company:
- Review your insurance policy in detail to identify whether there have been violations of the contract by your insurer
- Keep detailed notes on your claim: include timeline & all communications with insurer
- Document any denial of your claim
- Request additional support: request a supervisor at your insurance company review your claim if you believe the adjuster is acting negligently or in bad faith
- Officially appeal your denial with your insurer before escalating to a complaint or lawsuit
- File a complaint with California’s Department of Insurance
- File an Insurance Bad Faith lawsuit
- Speak with an Insurance Bad Faith attorney to identify any additional lawsuit claims
Possible compensation you may be entitled to for your Insurance Bad Faith Claim in addition to basic benefits due under the policy:
- Attorneys’ fees
- Any out-of-pocket expenses
- Damages for the claim denial
- Compensation for missed work
- Punitive damages in the event of extreme negligence or bad faith
Filing an insurance bad faith lawsuit can be complex. In our experience the success of these cases often depends on our assembling a good team for the case which typically includes expert witnesses. These cases require a deep understanding of underwriting in insurance contracts as well as standard claims handling procedures. Schedule your free consultation so we can help walk you through the legal process and decide next steps.