What Does It Mean When an Insurer Acts in Bad Faith?

Updated on January 26, 2021

Working with an insurance agent can often be a stressful ordeal, mainly because you can never be sure as to whether your insurer is going to work with you to get you the result you want. Because in all too many incidents, you run the risk of dealing with an insurance agency whose ultimate goal is to protect its bottom line — and when that’s the case, that is going to involve them trying to find any way possible they can to deny you your insurance claim, no matter how deserving of it you may be. How can you properly determine, however, that your insurer is acting in bad faith?

How to figure out if your insurer is acting in bad faith

Sometimes, it is difficult to discern whether your insurance agency is having a legitimate disagreement with you as to whether your claim has merit or not, or whether your insurance agency is just trying to take you for a ride and not pay out despite you paying in for this exact moment. Both situations are inevitably going to be very disappointing for you, but one of them has at least more avenues for approach than the other. One of the most common ways an insurer will act in bad faith and try to cheat you out of your payout is to simply lie to you. One common lie an insurer acting in bad faith will engage in is to claim that if you contact an attorney, you may not get any payment at all. This is a blatant lie, and if it wasn’t, it would be a terribly illegal thing for the insurer to do to punish you for exercising your rights to be represented during this frustrating process. The reason why they do this is, basically, your attorney, particularly one who specializes in dealing with insurers, are going to see through any other lies and dirty tactics that they employ to manipulate you into doing something that is not in your best interests. It’s important to really emphasize just how true this is: an insurance agency exists to make money. If they’re not making money, they’re not operating. A good adage that you should adhere to is this: if someone stands to benefit more than you from you listening to what you say, there is a very good chance that they are not being entirely honest with you.

An insurer will also commonly give you the run around, to try and either delay you or make you feel annoyed enough to ideally give up. For example, an insurer may refuse to transfer you to the appropriate person who can handle things, keeping you at square one for far too long. Another similar tactic is to simply transfer you from person to person, keeping you from getting a good hold on a person and have a conversation with them such that you can make progress to getting your results. When you do get in contact with the right person, they may still give you the run around, making unreasonable demands of you. For example, your insurer may say that you need to provide certain documentation before they would be willing or able to progress on the claim, despite the policy’s term having no requirement that such documentation be provided in order to receive your payout. Sometimes they will flat out deny or delay your claim for invalid reasons, or even cancel your policy in response to your claim. Some insurers can definitely play pretty dirty. Sometimes, the insurer will just try to avoid you completely, not contacting you once you have alerted them to your claim. It can all be very annoying, but just make sure that you don’t let them win out over you. After all, you’re paying them for this protection, and if they are not paying you when you need the money, then they are simply not doing their job.

An insurance agency is certainly willing to be bold when they are dealing with one of the people they are insured, but they are a lot less willing to get aggressive when you have someone else in your corner. It is always a sight to behold when an insurer who is acting in bad faith does a complete 180 from their previous behavior, knowing how little bull even a halfway competent attorney is willing to take from them. An attorney does so much more for you than you might think, and they get you a lot more value as well. You may be reticent to take on the cost of hiring an attorney but let us be real here: the cost of hiring an attorney is a drop in the bucket compared to the money that the insurer is going to try to deny you from receiving. They know what an insurer can and cannot get away with under the law, and they have dealt with these people frequently enough to stop their tactics before they can drain you of your will to continue. Attorney Doug Terry is just one example of an insurer who will provide you this strong defense.

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