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The insurance company may seem like they are, on your side, and that they are your friend until you try to make any insurance claim on your policy. Suddenly, the entire tone of the relationship changes. Your adjuster might try to convince you that you don’t have a claim or that your claim is not worth what your policy states it is.
The change in the way you are treated may catch you off-guard, and rightly so, as insurance companies are very good at deception. They spend millions of dollars on advertising with the aim of making you trust them.
Dealing with a bad faith insurance company following an auto accident can be very confusing, especially when they are refusing to pay out on a rightful insurance claim. They may be trying to convince you that you are greedy or that filing a claim is in some way wrong, but don’t be fooled by their assertions. If your insurance company is denying a claim on your policy, contact Console and Associates P.C.’s New Jersey bad faith insurance lawyers by calling (856) 778-5500. We will explain your rights and see that you are paid the compensation that is due to you.
Insurance companies have very strict guidelines governing the way in which they process insurance claims. Adjusters will always say the claim is worth less than it really is or simply state you do not have a claim at all. These bad faith policies are not tactics that are employed by just one or two bad companies; they are industry-wide strategies utilized to keep money in the company and out of the hands of rightful claimants.
At Console and Associates P.C., our New Jersey personal injury lawyers have worked for several of the largest insurance companies in the United States, and they have first-hand knowledge of the tactics used in this industry. It is completely surprising to most people the lengths these companies will go to in order to avoid paying the money they owe to you under your insurance policy. Your insurance company would rather spend thousands of dollars, more money than your insurance claim is even worth, on their legal defense just to ensure that they never have to pay you money.
The way insurance works are that the company accepts premiums from you every year. They then take that money and invest it, which doubles or triples that money. When you make an insurance claim, the company will try to make you feel as though it is not worth it. They want you to give up so they can keep hold of that money and continue to profit off of it. The simple fact is, if you never collect on your insurance policy you are not only lining their pockets with your money, you are making them an additional profit just by letting them hold on to your premiums.
Insurance companies are for-profit businesses; their main focus is making money. Also, some of the large insurance companies are, public, meaning their duty is first and foremost to their shareholders rather than to you, the customer. If they can in any way make their customers feel like they can’t make a claim, wouldn’t be successful if they did, or that it would be wrong of them to file one, then they have won, and they can continue raking in the profits.
It is important to understand some of the most common bad faith insurance practices you may encounter. Insurance companies that are found guilty of bad faith practices could face serious legal consequences from the policyholder and be required to pay enormous punitive damages on top of the coverage they should have provided in the first place.
Generally, insurers will act to avoid or minimize their liabilities under their insurance contract with the policyholder. However, if the insurer causes unreasonable delays in handling, resolving, or processing an insurance claim, they could be guilty of bad faith insurance practices. Understanding what constitutes an unreasonable delay is dependent on the circumstances. Insurers must have evidence that they can justify a delay a claim or the delay will likely be considered unreasonable.
Your insurance carrier is required to conduct an investigation after you file a claim. This is a basic part of any insurance policy, and your insurer cannot deny or settle a claim until the investigation is completed. If the insurance carrier underpays or denies a claim based on information from an incomplete investigation, they could be held accountable.
Under state law, a liability insurer owes a fairly broad duty to defend policyholders against claims and lawsuits that create a potential for coverage under the policy. This includes claims against anything specifically stated in the policy or that may have a possibility of requiring coverage. In these cases, legal counsel will be paid for by the insurer, not the policyholder.
An insurance carrier should never make threatening statements towards policyholders or third parties who are making claims. For example, an insurance carrier could threaten to take legal action against you or file criminal charges for submitting a claim, even though the claim could be for something that falls within the policy limits. Threats should be reported to the state insurance board as well as your attorney as soon as possible.
Insurance carriers will do everything they can to limit the amount of money they pay in a settlement. This will often result in unreasonably low settlement offers. Insurance companies are required by law to use fair claims practices, and denying a claim that should be covered by the insurance policy in question could qualify as bad faith. Insurance carriers cannot avoid paying a valid claim in order to pad their own bottom line with profits. For example, if you have liability coverage of $50,000 and a claim is made for that full amount, but the insurance carrier offers only $20,000, they could be found liable of bad faith insurance practices.
Insurance contracts can be complicated documents, and insurance carriers may deliberately interpret the policy language in a way that is unfavorable towards the claimant. Insurance carriers must be truthful in their statements about what your policy says as well as what the law requires of them. For example, an insurance carrier could be found guilty of bad faith if you put in a car insurance claim for which you were partially at fault for but are denied coverage, even if comparative negligence laws deem you eligible to receive compensation.
Do not allow your insurance company to withhold the payments they are contractually obligated to give to you. Console and Associates P.C.’s skilled New Jersey insurance bad faith attorneys have the insider knowledge of how these insurance companies try to deny claims, and we know how to overcome them. Our law firm has gone up against some of the most important names in the industry and won.
If your insurance company is refusing to pay a rightful claim on your policy, contact the bad faith and personal injury attorneys at our law offices at (856) 778-5500 for a free case evaluation. We will work tirelessly to ensure that the insurance company pays the money they owe you.
“Insurance companies and providers tried taking advantage of me. Console & Associates didn’t let that happen and really fought for me. I highly recommend them.” D. Gordon / Client