Many insurance companies engage in disputes or negotiations with claimants in good faith. However, bad faith insurance disputes may arise, typically after a natural disaster like a hurricane. When insurance companies intentionally fail to investigate a claim, delay processing a claim, or deny a claim, you may suspect bad faith. Bad faith insurance lawyers in Lake Charles provide legal assistance to clients who suspect their insurance company may have acted in bad faith.
What Is Considered Bad Faith Insurance?
The term “bad faith” describes a claim you have against an insurance company for unlawful handling of insurance claims. Insurance companies owe a duty of good faith and fair dealing to insured businesses. Therefore, if you believe your insurance company has not acted fairly and in good faith, you may have a claim for bad faith and statutory violations.
Examples of bad faith include the following:
- Undervaluing or denial of your insurance claim in Lake Charles after failing to investigate your property damage adequately;
- Intentionally misrepresenting or misinterpreting the insurance policy, thereby minimizing your recovery;
- Taking an unreasonable time to process your claim;
- Failing to pay money that should be undisputed within 30 days of receipt of proof of loss;
- Denial of your insurance claim in Lake Charles without providing a reason.
Not every insurance claim denial in Lake Charles means your insurance company acted in bad faith. For example, your policy may not cover the damage suffered. Or the insurance company’s misinterpretation of the policy may be an honest mistake. However, if you believe your insurance company is acting in bad faith, it is within your rights to contact a qualified bad faith insurance lawyer to fight on your behalf.
Do Insurance Companies Act in Bad FaithAfter a Hurricane?
Following a natural disaster like a hurricane, many insurance companies know to expect an increase in filed claims as a result. Insurance companies anticipate shelling out large amounts of money to cover these claims. To avoid satisfying legitimate claims, insurance companies may resort to bad faith insurance tactics. These tactics make it difficult for you to recover adequate funds for the property damage suffered. Additionally, your insurance company may deny your claim after failing to process it promptly.
What Type of Damages Can You Expect?
In order to prove that denial of your insurance claim in Lake Charles was done in bad faith, you must show the following:
- You provided satisfactory proof of loss to your insurer;
- Your insurer failed to pay your claim within the time period required by law; and
- Your insurer’s failure to pay was arbitrary, capricious, or without probable cause.
If you believe your insurer acted in bad faith, you may have a bad faith insurance claim against them.
If successful in proving your bad faith insurance claim, you are entitled to recovery of bad faith damages including:
- Two times the actual damages, or $5,000, whichever is greater;
- Reasonable attorney fees and costs; and
- In some situations, a penalty of 50% of the amount owed under the insurance contract, or $1,000, whichever is greater, in addition to the actual amount of loss.
Holding an insurance policy entitles you to coverage when you have a claim. As the policy holder, you hold the burden of proof to provide evidence of bad faith by your insurer. Utilize the services of an experienced bad faith attorney to build your bad faith claim in court.
Talk to an Insurance Lawyer Today
After suffering devastating damage and losses in a hurricane, the last thing you need is for your insurance company to delay or deny your reasonable claim for relief. The bad faith insurance lawyers at The Johns Law Firm in Lake Charles possess decades of experience handling bad faith insurance matters. Most of the attorneys at The Johns Law Firm spent time defending insurance companies, so they know their strategies and tactics. We strive to give each client the personal attention they deserve. We understand the stress you must be under after enduring a traumatic event like a hurricane. Contact our office today to review your bad faith insurance claim.