Disability Insurance Bad Faith
After suffering an injury causes a temporary or permanent disability, people depend on insurance companies to help them recover from their financial stress. Though most insurance companies act honorably, some act in bad faith, meaning the insurance company acted in an unreasonable or unfair manner to its customers. If you have been the victim of disability insurance bad faith, you deserve an experienced and dedicated representative. Contact the personal injury lawyers at Begam Marks & Traulsen, P.A., for help.
Elements of Insurance Bad Faith
Insurance bad faith occurs when an insurance company denies you the coverage that you paid for in your plan. Arizona law requires each insurance company to act fairly, so if your insurance company is being unreasonable you may have a bad faith insurance case. To prove bad faith insurance, you must show that the insurance company withheld promised benefits and that the reason for withholding the benefits was unfair or unreasonable. Some common ways that insurers commit bad faith include:
- Misrepresenting relevant facts or policy aspects
- Failing to acknowledge and act promptly after someone files a claim
- Failing to implement reasonable standards for investigating a claim
- Failing to respond to claims within a reasonable time
- Failing to provide a reasonable explanation for denying the claim
Common Tactics Insurance Companies Use
The priority for insurance companies is to pay as little as possible. Many insurance companies have tactics that they use to avoid paying people the full amount. When acting in bad faith, insurers use a variety of tactics. Some of the tactics include:
- Denying a valid claim
- Using credit score as an excuse to underpay
- Delaying or obstructing claims until the person gives up
- Canceling policies
- Canceling policies when people call and ask questions about a potential claim
Difficulty Proving Disability Insurance Bad Faith
Many people assume that an insurance company is acting in bad faith simply by denying a request for disability. Unfortunately, it is usually more complicated than that. The company must have done various things before you can accuse it of bad faith. Some of the disability bad faith acts include:
- Failing to conduct a thorough investigation of a disability claim
- Failing to respond to the disability claim in time
Many unfair actions regarding your disability insurance claim could warrant a bad faith claim, but there are some that, though they may seem unfair, are legal. To determine whether you can file a bad faith claim, you need an experienced attorney. An attorney with knowledge about Arizona disability insurance bad faith will know if the insurer’s denial counts as bad faith.
What Damages Can I Recover?
In insurance bad faith cases, the court may award you damages. The first type is contract damages, which cover the amount you originally requested, and the insurance company denied. The court may also order the insurance company to cover the fees for your attorney.
The court could also order the bad faith insurer to give you receive compensation for emotional distress and punitive damages. Emotional distress covers pain, humiliation, inconvenience, and any other emotional trauma or difficulty that you experienced because of the bad faith. Punitive damages punish the insurance company, as opposed to helping you recover financial compensation. The court will assign punitive damages if it believes the insurance company deserves further punishment.
Statute of Limitations
Arizona law provides a statute of limitations of two years for insurance bad faith claims. If you wait longer than two years before filing, you may not be able to receive compensation for the insurance company’s unfair and unreasonable actions.
Phoenix Disability Insurance Bad Faith Attorney
If your insurer denied you disability insurance and you think it may have been bad faith, you may be able to file a claim and receive compensation. The attorneys at Begam Marks & Traulsen, P.A., have 60 years of experience in personal injury cases such as insurance bad faith and can help you determine whether you have a case. Contact Begam Marks & Traulsen, P.A., for guidance and advice about disability insurance bad faith in Arizona.