Bad Faith Insurance Claims: The Basics In Oklahoma
When people obtain insurance, they assume that they can rely on their insurance provider when tragedy strikes. After all, what is the point of insurance if not to account of the unexpected.
Unfortunately, however, when an insurance company surprisingly refuses to pay a rightful claim, many individuals find themselves struggling with medical expenses and ever-mounting bills.
Thankfully, those in Oklahoma who fall victim to such wrongful practices may have recourse available through what is known as a bad faith insurance claim. Indeed, these types of claims not only allow victims to receive the coverage they deserve – not to mention paid for – but also discourage insurance providers from engaging in such conduct in the future.
If you are the victim of a bad faith insurance claim, call 405-235-4500 or contact us online to speak to a representative today.
Oklahoma bad faith insurance law
Under Oklahoma law, bad faith insurance allegations typically require the victim – also referred to as the insured in this context – to argue that his or her insurance provider breached the duty of good faith and fair dealing. Under this particular theory, the insured must be able to prove four essential elements in Oklahoma, which include:
- The insured’s loss was one that was covered by his or her policy issued by the insurance provider, and thus the provider was required to take reasonable actions in handling the claim
- The insurance provider’s refusal to pay the claim was unreasonable under the circumstances because the provider did not perform a proper investigation, did not properly evaluate the results of an investigation or merely has no reasonable basis for the refusal
- The insurance provider failed to deal fairly and act good faith with the insured when handling the claim
- The insurance provider’s violation or breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing was the direct cause of the damages sustained by the insured
Typically, in a bad faith insurance case in Oklahoma, there is one decisive question that courts will need to examine when assessing a claim: At the time payment or performance was requested, did the insurance company have a good faith belief that it had a justifiable reason for withholding full payment under the policy? If the answer to this question is no, and the insurance provider still refuses payment, then it is likely that a viable bad faith claim may exist.
However, given the complexities of bad faith insurance claims, it is often best for victims to seek the counsel of an experienced attorney. A skilled attorney can review the circumstances of your insurance claim and help ensure you obtain the coverage you may be entitled. Call 405-235-4500 today or contact an attorney online.