Bad Faith Insurance Issues
Pursuing a Bad Faith Claim Against Your Insurance Company
Insurance is often regarded as a necessary evil. On the one hand, you do not want to risk an accident or calamity that may cause you to incur significant financial losses; on the other hand, it sometimes seems as if you keep paying premiums with no return.
But when the unthinkable happens, insurance can provide you with great peace of mind… or not.
Unfortunately, not every insurance claim goes through smoothly. When a claim is filed, you may find that, despite having faithfully paid your premiums year after year, your insurance company may behave as if you are an adversary. You may receive a lot of questions, inspections, delays, and red tape.
As irksome as this may be, these difficulties are not unexpected. The FBI estimates that insurance fraud—not counting health insurance fraud—costs American insurance companies more than $40 billion per year in illegitimate payouts. Consequently, insurance companies can often be skeptical and exacting when it comes to claims—especially large claims. At the same time, that does not mean they should mistreat their clients when a legitimate claim is filed. If you need to make an insurance claim, an experienced Oklahoma City insurance coverage attorney can help you navigate these difficulties, and work to secure the payment you deserve.
Insurance Claims Can Fall Under a Variety of Terms
When you have suffered certain types of property damage for which you have purchased insurance, it is only right to seek recovery through your insurance policy, whether that policy relates to:
- Property insurance
- Homeowner’s insurance
- Automobile insurance, including uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage
- Health insurance
- Renter’s insurance
- Personal property insurance (often for special items, such as coins, jewelry, art, antiques, or other valuables)
- Life insurance
- Disability insurance
- Commercial general liability insurance
Even more, when you have multiple policies or umbrella coverage, where one policy does not cover a specific eventuality, another one of your policies may. When a claim is made, the first step your insurance carrier will take is to review the terms of your specific policy to determine whether and how to pay the claim.
If you and your insurer agree on the coverage and amount, that is usually the end of the matter. But if you and your insurance company disagree on whether a particular loss is covered, or to what extent it is covered, you do not necessarily have to accept the insurer’s interpretation. You may instead find yourself in the position of having to appeal the insurer’s determination to the insurer itself or, if necessary, to a court of law.
When You Must Pursue a Claim Against Your Own Insurer, Shelton Law Group Can Help
Not all claim denials by insurance companies are made in bad faith; many times, the insurer is on solid legal ground. However, sometimes insurers are wrong. You and your insurer may disagree on what is covered, on the amount of coverage, or on restrictions your insurer places on how to proceed, such as whether you need to obtain quotes, use certain repair facilities and contractors, and so on.
If you have difficulty with your insurer, particularly if you have a sizeable claim, or if you anticipate problems in dealing with your insurer in pursuing a claim, you should strongly consider retaining an experienced insurance bad faith attorney to advise or represent you. An insurance bad faith attorney will tell you what your policy states, what the applicable laws are, and what your rights are. Your attorney can help you pursue all of the compensation to which you are entitled.
The Oklahoma insurance bad faith lawyers at Shelton Law Group have handled hundreds of cases involving insurance disputes and the firm is recognized as one of Oklahoma’s leaders in the practice of insurance bad faith law. Our clients include individuals and businesses in litigation, mediation, and negotiation of insurance claims throughout the state. Our bad faith insurance attorneys have the experience and qualifications to provide you with the help you need.
Our attorneys can also help you evaluate insurance issues before a claim is necessary. For example, you may want to have an attorney review your policies to make sure you have sufficient insurance to cover your likely risks. You may want your attorney to review your policies periodically, to make sure your coverage is consistent with current property values and repair and replacement costs. Your attorney can also advise you on any additional perils you may wish to cover, such as fire, flood, earthquake, or storms. Your attorney can help you understand any exclusions that may apply, and make you aware of any activities that can jeopardize your coverage.
Contact our Oklahoma City office today at (405) 605-8800 or online to arrange a free review of your insurance bad faith claim. We will give you an honest, well-researched assessment of whether you are covered for the losses you have suffered under the provisions of your policy. If you have a legitimate claim that has been denied, we will fiercely assert your rights in negotiations or in court to help you recover the damages to which you are legally entitled.
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