What Is Bad Faith When It Comes to Insurance Claims?
In the state of California, drivers are required to have liability insurance in order to pay some of the expenses associated with an accident. The minimum limits for the state are $15,000 for individual injuries in the accident and a total of $30,000 for the entire accident. This also includes $5,000 in property damage.
There are numerous other types of insurance coverages that drivers can opt to have including comprehensive, collision, uninsured motorist, personal injury protection, and more. Each of these play a role in helping should you be involved in a crash—either as the victim or the liable party.
When something happens, and you need to rely on your insurance company to help cover the expenses, you expect that they’ll be there for you. Unfortunately, there are many instances of bad faith in insurance claims and understanding what this means for you is important.
What Does It Mean for an Insurance Company to Be In Bad Faith?
Policyholders pay extensive premiums each month to help cover the expenses of being covered by insurance. Some even paying higher to increase the limits of their policy in order to ensure they are protected in the event of an accident.
However, insurance companies are often focused solely on their own profits. As such, they may not always be the easiest to file a claim with following a collision. They want to pay out as little as possible, which means they may try and find ways to outright deny a claim following a crash. This would put financial responsibility solely on the policyholder.
Depending on whether the policyholder is the victim or the liable party, there are certain factors the insurance company may attempt to use when limiting their own liability.
- If the policyholder is the victim, his or her insurance company may rely on the negligent party’s insurance company to be financially responsible for the injuries and property damage sustained by the victim.
- If the policyholder is the liable party, the insurance company may try to limit the amount of liability they have to accept. This may include trying to put the fault on the victim in the accident or claiming certain acts are not covered.
Unfortunately, the moment an insurance company wrongfully denies a claim, they are acting in bad faith. They are breaking the trust between policyholder and insurer. Individuals who rely on these coverages to protect them in various instances should not have to endure the financial hardships that can arise the moment the insurance company fails to pay out as needed.
Bad faith means the insurance company wrongfully refuses to pay out to a client, they fail to explain why the claim was denied, they don’t represent clients in third-party claims, and they put in place an exceedingly extensive process just to file a claim.
What Can Policyholders Do to Protect Their Rights?
When insurance companies are wrong in their denial of a claim—when they act in bad faith—they should be held fully accountable. Policyholders have rights to pursue the compensation they deserve from their insurance company and we’re here to help.
Our San Diego personal injury lawyers aim to help individuals overcome the difficult situation of a bad faith insurance claim. You shouldn’t have to deal with an unscrupulous insurance company who focuses solely on their own bottom line and don’t pay out claims as they should.
Klein, DeNatale, Goldner has more than 60 years of experience representing individuals in all types of civil matters, including those involving bad faith insurance claims. Trust that we have the knowledge and skill you need to move forward and pursue the compensation you deserve.
Call our firm today at (619) 732-0560 to discuss your potential case and rights with our team. We offer free case evaluations so you can get the answers you need!