This is the most common type of bad faith claim. In these situations, your insurance company rejects your claim without a reasonable basis.
These situations aren’t as obvious as you think. Your insurance company won’t just tell you, “We’re not giving you money because we don’t like you”.
Instead, they could cite a part of your contract that’s difficult to understand. They could use terms like “wind driven rain” to deny flooding damage, for example, and point to a multi-page explanation in your contract.
If your insurance company is dragging its feet, refusing to pay, or taking too long to act, then it could be a sign of a bad faith insurer.
Did your house burn down? If so, then you expect your insurance company to work quickly to investigate. When your insurance company delays, you’re stuck: you can’t make repairs until your insurance company investigates, but your insurance company keeps delaying the investigation.
If you’ve provided all necessary information to your insurer, but they’ve failed to respond adequately, then this could be the basis for a first-party insurance bad faith lawsuit.
These insurance complaints are particularly common. Insurance companies are for-profit companies. Their goal isn’t to give customers as much money as possible: their goal is to pay you as little as possible while still fulfilling their legal obligations.
Despite what colorful nationwide insurance company commercials tell you, insurance companies aren’t on your side and you’re not in good hands.
This bad faith tactic is particularly devious. Sometimes, insurance companies will take advantage of naïve homeowners by requesting an absurd amount of evidence to reinforce the claim. You may think, “Hey, this is just a normal part of an insurance claim”. In reality, insurance companies are just looking for any excuse not to pay you. Insurance companies can also use this tactic to extend a lengthy process.
If your insurance company is asking for an unusual amount of documentation from you or your physician, then it could be the basis for a bad faith claim. Insurance companies may request paperwork that was never mentioned in a policy, for example, or they may require you to submit both a preliminary claim report and a formal proof of loss form. These forms may sound reasonable to you, but this is actually a delay tactic, as both forms contain the same information.
Insurance companies owe a duty of good faith to policy holders – to people like you. Unfortunately, they don’t always fulfill that duty. That’s why bad faith claims exist. When you file an insurance damage claim and it turns into a bad faith insurance claim, you can actually be compensated an amount larger than the original face value of your policy.