Plainfield Personal Injury
Plainfield Insurance Claims Lawyer
What are Bad Faith Insurance Practices?
In Indiana, insurers are required to operate in good faith, which includes conducting thorough and timely investigations, issuing prompt decisions, and offering fair settlements to policyholders. Insurers that fail to abide by these standards have committed bad faith, which also includes:
- Misrepresenting coverage-related facts or policy provisions;
- Failing to respond promptly to claims filed by policyholders;
- Refusing to pay claims without conducting a reasonable investigation;
- Delaying the investigation or payment of a claim by requiring a claimant to submit both preliminary claim reports and formal proof of loss forms, if both submissions contain the same information;
- Failing to deny or affirm coverage within a reasonable time;
- Failing to make a timely and reasonable settlement offer; and
- Failing to provide a timely and reasonable explanation for the denial of a claim or for the offer of a compromise settlement.
These kinds of practices can have devastating consequences for policyholders who may be struggling with mounting medical debt, lost wages, and property repair costs. Fortunately, insurers that engage in these kinds of practices can be held liable by wronged policyholders.
First Party vs. Third Party Claims
There are two main types of insurance claims, which are known as first party claims and third party claims. The former involve the filing of a claim with one’s own insurer after it failed to investigate a claim, or issued an unfair denial. Third party claims, on the other hand, occur when another policyholder’s insurer refuses to address a claim or does so haphazardly. If, for instance, a car accident victim filed a claim with the at-fault motorist’s insurer and that company failed to use good faith practices, the claimant could file suit against the provider in court. The strategies used by plaintiffs vary greatly depending on the type of claim that they are filing, so if you have questions about filing either a first or third party insurance claim, please reach out to our office today.
Policyholders who can successfully prove that an insurer engaged in bad faith practices could be entitled to a wide range of damages, including compensation up to, and even beyond, the policy limits, as well as reimbursement for legal costs and emotional distress. In some cases, a claimant could even recover punitive damages, which are intended to punish insurers for particularly egregious behavior. However, punitive damages will only be awarded when a policyholder can prove that an insurer acted with malice, fraud, or gross negligence, and engaged in bad faith practices that were not the result of a mistake of fact or law, negligence, or an error of judgment.
Experienced Plainfield Insurance Claims Lawyers
Call 317-455-4043 today to set up a free consultation with the dedicated Plainfield insurance claims lawyers at Indianapolis Injury Lawyers today.