Insurance companies in the United States are required by law to act in good faith when resolving customer claims. If you have made a boat or home insurance claim and feel that your insurer is acting in bad faith, you may have a tort claim as well as a breach of contract suit. Here are five signs that may mean you’re working with a bad faith insurer.
1. Do they neglect to return your calls?
If a representative from your insurance company fails to respond to a claim, or to an inquiry about a claim within 24 hours, it could be a sign that they are acting in bad faith. The reason? The longer the company waits before paying out your claim, the more money they make on the premiums you’ve already paid.
2. Has your claim been unfairly denied?
If your insurer claims that your situation is not covered under its policy, or if they claim you failed to pay premiums or were not covered at the time of the incident for another reason, it may be a red flag that you’re working with a bad faith insurer.
3. Has your claim been settled too quickly?
An insurer that offers an immediate settlement or bullies you into settling is often offering much less than you rightfully deserve. Consult an expert in maritime or insurance law to ensure that you are getting your due.
4. Has the insurer asked for excessive documentation?
Sometimes, insurance companies act in bad faith by asking for undue documentation, including copies of items that are irrelevant to the claim. When using this tactic, they may deny your claim if you are unable to supply the documents requested.
5. Has the insurer used threats?
If your representative warned you of skyrocketing rates, or that you’ll experience other adverse consequences if you move forward with a claim or refuse to settle, he or she is acting in bad faith.