An insurance policy is a contractual agreement used to indemnify individuals and businesses for covered losses. It is a contract that binds both parties to a set of terms –an insured pays premiums in exchange for the insurance company’s promise to pay benefits under the terms of the policy when a loss occurs.
However, when it comes to claims, insurance companies hold the power -they have greater expertise, negotiating strength, and financial resources than the policyholder. If your insurance company fails to act reasonably in processing, investigating, or paying your claim, you might have the right to file a lawsuit, called a “bad-faith” lawsuit.
Insurance coverage is a technical and confusing area of the law. While each state is different in defining bad faith, in Oklahoma, an insurance company must, at a minimum handle claims made by its policyholders thoroughly and promptly. Some of the most common insurance company bad faith acts are as follows:
- Unreasonable delays in paying benefits when the insurance company has all the information necessary to tender benefits
- Failing to notify policyholders that coverage may exist for a loss or explain how the coverage may be applicable to a loss
- Delaying investigation of a claim and/or dragging out the investigation by transferring your claim to multiple adjusters
- Interpreting the policy language to find a way to deny your claim contrary to law
- Failing or refusing to thoroughly investigate the claim
- Making a lowball offer
- Promising that a claim will be paid and then later refusing to do so
When it comes to lawsuits dealing with insurance companies, we cannot express how important deadlines are. Missing one of these deadlines can mean that an insurer can deny your claim and that a court can dismiss your case without any recovery to you. It is crucial to consult with experienced bad-faith attorneys as soon as you have a concern about your 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. If you have questions or would like assistance with your bad faith lawsuit, don’t hesitate to contact our team. Call (405) 433-7414 or fill out this form to get started today.