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Home > FAQ > How Do I File an Insurance Bad Faith Lawsuit?

How Do I File an Insurance Bad Faith Lawsuit?

To file a meritorious insurance bad faith lawsuit, you must demonstrate that you behaved in good faith in seeking coverage for a valid claim.  Review your contract, keep copies of all documents and correspondence relating to your claim, go through the proper channels to appeal any denials, put your insurer on notice of your potential legal action, and then proceed with your bad faith claims.  Filing a bad faith claim requires a lot of preparation, planning, paperwork, and detailed knowledge of insurance law; we strongly recommend retaining the services of a qualified insurance bad faith lawyer early in the process.

Carefully Review Your Insurance Contract

Before you can file a bad faith claim or even appeal a denial, you need to review the terms of your contract.  Review your entire policy to ensure that your claim should have been covered by your policy terms.  It is a good idea to get a full copy of your policy before you even file your claim, if possible.

Keep Copies and Logs of Everything

In order to file your eventual claim, you will need to document the bad faith conduct committed by your insurance company.  Keep copies of all documents generated in connection with your claim, including medical records, official claim denials, and any communication with your insurer such as letters and emails.  Take notes on any phone calls.  This documentation will eventually go to show that you acted appropriately in filing your claim, that your claim was valid, and that your insurer acted wrongfully in responding to your claim.

Look Out for Bad Faith Conduct

As you document your interactions with your insurer, keep track of their behavior.  If they engage in bad faith conduct, then you may be able to seek more than just your initial claim in an eventual lawsuit.  Bad faith conduct carries additional statutory damages and fines.

Insurers commit a wide range of illegal bad faith conduct, including the following:

  • Unreasonable or unjustified denial of benefits
  • Unreasonable delay in investigating and approving or denying a claim
  • Misrepresenting policy language or facts
  • Failure to investigate a claim at all
  • Failing to properly explain a denial
  • Failure to settle one portion of a claim in order to influence settlement on another part of a claim
  • Trying to settle for an unreasonable amount as compared to the advertised value of a claim
  • Failure to respond to a claim, or unreasonable failure to communicate with an insured party throughout the claims process
  • Threatening to appeal an arbitration award
  • Requiring a policyholder to undergo unnecessary medical testing
  • Continually sending unreasonable and burdensome document requests to deter a policyholder from continuing to pursue their claim

Appeal a Claim Denial

If your claim has been denied, or if your insurance company has offered you a lowball settlement as compared to the true value of your claim, you can ask the insurance company to review your claim denial internally.  You can refuse to accept the claim denial or low settlement offer and ask for the insurer to review your claims at higher levels.  It is possible that the denial of your claim was simply an oversight or a miscalculation, and an internal review may resolve the matter.

File a Claim Against the Company

Finally, if your insurance company still has yet to respond or to respond fully and appropriately, you can file a claim in court.  If you have not retained an insurance coverage and bad faith lawyer up to this point, it is important to do so now.  Your insurance bad faith attorney will know the law, the industry, and how best to secure the compensation you are owed.

Protect Your Health, Your Finances, and Your Rights with Help From Insurance Bad Faith Lawyers Gianelli & Morris.

If you are a California policyholder or beneficiary and you have been subjected to bad faith conduct by an insurance company, call the insurance law attorneys Gianelli & Morris for a free consultation regarding your case.

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