Bad Faith Insurance in OK: What to Know!
In simple terms, a party acts in bad faith when they do something dishonest or downright fraudulent during a transaction. Bad faith insurance is when an insurance company tries to prevent you from getting what you deserve in an insurance claim.
If you are like most people, you buy insurance to protect yourself financially from personal injuries or property damage. In exchange for paying your premiums (which can be quite costly!), you expect your insurance company to uphold their end of the contract. Unfortunately, some insurance companies act in bad faith, and this can leave you in financial trouble.
15 Ways Insurance Companies Act in Bad Faith
Insurance companies can act in bad faith in a number of ways. Some dodgy behaviors are easy to spot, while other actions may be so subtle that you don’t realize that they are legally considered to be in bad faith.
Just a few examples of bad-faith insurance practices include:
- Failing to acknowledge your claim within a reasonable period (Oklahoma law says that insurance companies must acknowledge that they received a claim within 30 business days)
- Not investigating the circumstances leading to the insurance claim
- Failing to process your claim within a reasonable period (Oklahoma law requires insurers to complete the investigation within 60 days of receiving proof of loss, in most cases)
- Denying your insurance claim without providing a valid reason for the denial
- Offering an extremely low settlement offer, which forces you to file a lawsuit
- Refusing to pay a valid insurance claim or delaying your payments
- Demanding you provide documentation that you don’t really need to process your insurance claim
- Denying reasonable requests for documents and information related to the claim
- Misrepresenting Oklahoma insurance laws or the terms of the insurance policy
- Pressure to accept an unfair settlement offer
- Canceling or changing your insurance policy after you have filed a claim in order to avoid paying you the money you deserve
- Imposing deadlines that are not specified by the insurance policy or Oklahoma law
- Issuing a partial payment, along with a document that releases the insurance company from liability later down the road
- Using abusive tactics
- Asking you to contribute to a settlement in which you shouldn’t have to pay any money at all
Types of Bad Faith Insurance Claims in Oklahoma
Bad faith can happen with all types of insurance claims. They most commonly occur with first-party insurance claims, which is when you file a claim with your own insurance company after an accident or injury. If you accidentally burn your house down, for example, you’ll file a first-party claim with your insurance company.
Bad faith can also happen with third-party insurance claims, which occur when someone other than the policyholder files a claim. If someone causes you to be in a car accident, for example, you can file a third-party claim with the other driver’s insurance policy.
What do I Need to Prove Bad Faith Insurance?
You can win a bad-faith case against an insurance company, but you’ll have to prove at least one of the following:
- The insurance policy covered the loss, but the company did not pay
- The policy requires the insurance company to take reasonable steps to process and then resolve your claim, and the company did not do so
- The insurance company did not provide a justifiable reason for refusing to pay the claim
- You suffered damages as the result of the insurance company’s breach of duty or actions
- The insurance company did not disclose the policy benefits to you
- The insurance company advised against hiring a lawyer
Contact Brown & Gould For More Information About Bad Faith Insurance
Hiring a lawyer is the best way to ensure that you are getting what you deserve from an insurance claim. Brown & Gould has extensive experience in bad faith insurance claims. Your Oklahoma attorney at Brown & Gold is there for you.