When Does Delay Become Insurance Bad Faith?
Your insurance company has an obligation to act in your best interests regarding coverage and paying out benefits. However, insurance companies are businesses, and they are also interested in making profits just like every other business. If there is an opportunity to deny coverage or pay out less in claims, they will often take it, even when that leads to negative results for you.
In that type of situation, an insurance company has likely committed “bad faith.” Bad faith occurs when the insurance company acts in its own interests rather than in your interests as their client. Under those circumstances, you might have a legal claim against your insurance company for their bad faith.
Bad faith occurs in a wide variety of situations in OKC. Delay is a very common reason that bad faith claims arise.
When Does Delay Become Unreasonable?
Delays in processing claims are common. Insurance companies have quite a few hoops they need to get through to pay out insurance claims. However, there is a point when the delay becomes so unreasonable that it gives rise to a bad faith insurance claim.
There is no hard and fast rule about what is reasonable—and every case is different. A delay that may be expected in one situation could be completely unreasonable in another.
Facts that will affect how long it takes to pay claims include things like:
- Whether witnesses are easily available to talk to
- The amount of damages involved or the severity of the injuries
- The time it takes to gather documents and records
- Whether the fault is clear and whether the insured was partially at fault
- Insurance policy limits compared to the damages or injuries
In cases where the fault is obvious, an insurance company has an obligation to settle the case for a reasonable amount within a reasonable amount of time. Where an investigation is required, fully processing a claim will take longer.
Do I have a Claim for Insurance Bad Faith?
If you think a delay is becoming unreasonable or you are having a hard time getting in touch with your insurance company, you might want to talk to a bad faith insurance claim attorney. Our team at Brown & Gould will be able to review your situation and determine whether you have a claim. We can also walk you through the process to assert your legal rights against your insurance company.
Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an appointment to discuss your situation.