Insurance is a reality of living in today’s age. You can’t finance a home, drive a car, or go to the doctor without it. That is unless you are independently wealthy and have the ability to pay cash for the financial consequences of things such as a tornado, car wreck or catastrophic illness. Since most of us do not have that ability, we rely on insurance policies to protect us from the devastating financial impact something like this might cause.

An insurance policy is a contract that binds both parties to a set of terms – the insured pays premiums in exchange for the insurance company’s promise to pay benefits under the terms of the policy when a covered loss occurs. In other words, we pay money for the insurance company’s promise to financially protect us if something happens. However, when a loss occurs, the insured is in a vulnerable situation. While on the one hand the insured may be dealing with trying to heal from physical injuries or clean up from a devastating storm, on the other hand, they must deal with their insurance company to get the benefits for which they paid their insurance premium. Because of this vulnerability, as well as the fact the insurance company wrote the policy and is making the decision whether it will pay benefits, Oklahoma law places certain obligations on insurance companies to ensure that insurance consumers are not taken advantage of and are paid properly owed benefits in a timely manner. This is known as an “insurer’s duty to handle claims with good faith and fair dealing.”

Essentially, an insurance company must thoroughly investigate your claim, fairly evaluate the results of its investigation, and promptly pay the benefits it owes you. Unfortunately, all too often this is not the case. In our decades of representing individuals and businesses, we’ve seen firsthand how far insurance companies will go to avoid paying claims. Because of this, it is important that victims of bad faith tactics by insurance carriers find attorneys with an in-depth knowledge of the insurance industry to represent their interests.

Fulmer Sill was founded on the principle of leveling the playing field with insurance companies by influencing the manner in which insurance companies handle claims in Oklahoma through the services and results we provide. Insurance companies have endlessly lobbied to prevent federal oversight and, with severe budget limitations to most state agencies, insurance companies are able to handle claims with virtually no accountability other than through the courts. We are the last line of defense to fight back against insurance companies and protect your rights.

COMMON INSURANCE COMPANY BAD FAITH ACTS

  • Unreasonable delays in paying benefits when the insurance company has all the information necessary
  • Failing to notify insureds that coverage may exist for a loss or explaining how the coverage may be applicable to the loss
  • Denying the validity of a claim regardless of whether the claim is valid under the terms of the policy
  • Delaying an investigation of a claim and/or dragging out an investigation by transferring your claim to multiple adjusters
  • Interpreting policy language to find ways to deny your claim contrary to Oklahoma law
  • Failing or refusing to thoroughly investigate the claim
  • Making lowball offers to settle a claim quickly
  • Assuring that a claim will be paid, then later refusing to do so

It is crucial to keep in mind that there are strict deadlines that must be met in the insurance claims process and deadlines for suing an insurance company. Missing one of these deadlines can mean that an insurance company can deny your claim and that a court can dismiss your case without any recovery to you. It is important to consult with experienced attorneys as soon as you have a concern about your claim.

DO YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT AN INSURANCE OR BAD FAITH CLAIM?

Oklahoma bad faith law is a highly complex and involved practice area that takes a great deal of experience, resources, and knowledge to maximize the results for you. When you feel your insurance company is not treating you fairly, it is important to have an experienced team by your side to know what steps to take on your behalf. All initial consultations are free, and Fulmer Sill does not charge any up-front fees for representation. We handle all fees on a contingency basis, meaning that unless we’re successful, we don’t get paid. If you have further questions, our team is always willing to talk through your situation to help you understand what legal options you have regarding your claim. Please contact us at (405)510.0077 for a free consultation or request a case review here.