What is Insurance Bad Faith?

People rely on insurance to be there when they need it most. Whether it is car insurance after a serious crash or medical insurance upon discovering you have a severe illness or injury. After all, people don’t randomly pay premiums every single month just for fun. They do it because they know that there is a possibility that they will have no one else to look to except for their insurance company when the unthinkable happens.

Sadly, all too often when the unthinkable does happen, the insurance companies find whatever excuse they can possibly think of to keep from covering their honest customers who have been paying every single month for nothing more than a sense of protection. When insurance companies try to wriggle their way out of taking care of what they have entered into a contract to pay, they are engaging in insurance bad faith.

Insurance bad faith is a legal term that “describes a tort claim that an insured person may have against an insurance company for its bad acts.” In the United States, insurance companies owe a duty of good faith and fair dealing to those that they insure. This duty is implied every time that an individual enters into any form of insurance contract. When an insurance company breaks that duty, they can be sued on a tort claim as well as for a standard breach of contract claim. In other words, insurance companies can be sued for civil wrong doings in addition to the fact that they did not uphold their end of the bargain.

In the end, an insurance company may be forced to pay much more in damages because of bad faith then the original face value of the policy.

Types of Insurance Carriers that Can Be Held Liable

Pretty much every type of insurance carrier has a duty to its policy holders to honor their agreements and to act in good faith. Trying to find small and all but undetectable loopholes in a contract in order to weasel their way out of upholding this duty is acting in bad faith. Insurance companies often sued for bad faith include:

• Health insurance

• Auto insurance

• Life insurance

• Long term disability insurance

For more information on insurance bad faith, visit the website of the Phoenix personal injury lawyers of Haralson, Miller, Pitt, Feldman & McAnally PLC.

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