Insurance policies provide protection for families, homes, vehicles, personal possessions and other property of value. As a policyholder, you expect your insurance companies to pay out on your valid claims, and to do so in a timely fashion. So what happens if they won’t pay? You may have what is known as a bad faith insurance claim on your hands.
If you believe your Pennsylvania insurer is acting in bad faith, here is what you need to know about those claims.
Each insurance company has a duty to act in good faith to its policyholders. When an insurance company does not deal fairly when investigating, processing or paying on a claim, that insurer may be acting in bad faith.
Take, for example, a homeowner’s insurance policy that states any physical losses sustained from fire or theft will be covered under the terms of the policy.
Yet when disaster strikes and you need to file a claim, the insurer attempts to delay the investigation. The insurer may also tell you that the circumstances make you ineligible for payment, or offer a settlement that doesn’t come close to paying for the damage sustained.
If you have been wrongfully denied payment on a loss covered under the terms of your insurance policy, or your insurance provider acts in a particularly egregious manner in handling your claim, you may have the right to file a bad faith claim and seek compensation, including attorneys’ fees and punitive costs. Contact a Philadelphia insurance lawyer from The Colleran Firm today, we offer a free case evaluation and will give you our hoenst opinion.
Pennsylvania law is very clear on how instances of bad faith insurance practices are to be handled by the court. Pennsylvania Law, Subchapter G Special Damages, Section 8371, which addresses actions on insurance policies, states:
“In an action arising under an insurance policy, if the court finds that the insurer has acted in bad faith toward the insured, the court may take all of the following actions:
(1) Award interest on the amount of the claim from the date the claim was made by the insured in an amount equal to the prime rate of interest plus 3%.
(2) Award punitive damages against the insurer.
(3) Assess court costs and attorney fees against the insurer.”
Bad faith claims can arise in many situations in which an insurance contract exists. Some of the most common scenarios where policyholders could find themselves in a bad faith situation include:
When an insurance company has made an honest, yet erroneous determination in handling an insurance claim, it does not mean that insurer is acting in bad faith. Bad faith behavior involves a willful desire on the part of the insurer to mislead, deceive or refuse to fulfill a contractual obligation.
If you are wondering how to spot instances of bad faith, the following actions by your insurance company may be may an in
dication of bad faith behavior:
If any of the above applies to your situation, your best move is to contact an experienced bad faith insurance lawyer from The Colleran Firm. Our firm has recovered millions of dollars
for those involved in medical malpractice, personal injury, and bad faith insurance lawsuit. Contact us today for your free consultation.