What is the Insurance Company's Duty?
Our First Party Insurance Attorneys in Houston Explain
An insurance company's duty varies from state to state, but as one
might imagine, there are countless rules and regulations that require
the insurance company to treat people and businesses they insure fairly.
Lawmakers in virtually every state have deemed it necessary to pass laws
to make sure that insurance companies do not abuse, take advantage of,
needlessly delay, or otherwise abuse their insureds. These rules and regulations
are often grouped together in an area of the law known as "bad faith."
And it's exactly what it sounds like. The area of law dealing with
the bad behavior of insurance companies. Imagine: an entire body of law
that now exists, and that has developed over the course of decades, because
an entire industry routinely behaves badly.
As a result of this bad behavior, and on the heels of years of legislative
action to curb it, states have enacted (and continue to enact) laws to
penalize the insurance companies that engage in these practices. Nevertheless,
and despite these rules and the sometimes harsh penalties that accompany
them, insurance companies continue to take advantage of people and businesses.
Why? Because they can. They have the time, money, and resources to do
it. Why don't more people fight back? Many worry that filing a claim
will result in loss of coverage. Or that filing suit is expensive. Or
that they simply should not deal with the headache of battling a large
sophisticated insurance company. All of these assumptions are false.
If you think you have been treated unfairly by an insurance company, you
probably have. The average judge or juror is not much different than you
are, and it's very common for people to become frustrated with the
delay tactics and other games some insurance companies employ to minimize
or eliminate their obligation to make good on viable claims. Don't
sit and wonder if your insurance company has acted in bad faith, and violated
its duties – find out.
What should you do? Level the playing field. Get expert advice –
every single insurance company does, why shouldn't you? It costs you
nothing. The lawyers at Daly & Black, P.C. will analyze your policy,
the facts of your case, and determine whether you have a bad faith or
other claim. If you're looking for a quick answer on this site, we
cannot give it to you – because the law varies from state to state,
and "bad faith" can turn on facts that require expert advice.
But here are some very general examples of the type of conduct that many
states have deemed to be bad faith conduct –
- Unnecessarily delaying payment of claims;
- Blaming your loss on events other than the real cause;
- Wrongfully claiming your loss is not covered;
- Failing to perform an adequate investigation;
- Making up reasons for delaying or denying your claim;
- Dragging out the claims process without a good reason;
- Trying to settle with you for an amount the insurer knows is inadequate
and less than what is fully covered;
- Failing to explain clearly why your claim was denied or underpaid;
- Intentionally misinterpreting the language in your policy;
- Telling you not to hire a lawyer;
- Performing a biased investigation of your claim; and
- Making wrongful threats to drop your coverage or deny your claim (essentially,
Again, laws vary from state to state, but if you feel like your insurance
company is giving you the run around, or not treating you fairly, we strongly
suggest you consult (at no charge) one of the experts at Daly & Black,
P.C. to see whether you have a valid claim. Often times, even the threat
of litigation will cause misbehaving insurance companies to straighten up.
It should speak volumes to the average person that every state in the union
has a specific body of law devoted to the bad practices of insurance companies.
No other industry has so much law devoted to its years of misconduct.
Good insurers look for, and find, ways to accept and promptly handle and
pay claims. The rest of them look for ways to cheat. How? They put their
bottom line (profits) ahead of your rights – which means delaying,
denying, disapproving, or diminishing the value of your claim.
If you think your insurance company has behaved wrongly, call Daly &
Black, P.C., the insurance litigation boutique devoted to making insurance
companies do the right thing – every time.
today to set up your
free case consultation!