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What steps can you take to address bad faith insurance coverage?

Having insurance can often help make you feel more at ease. Even though you appreciate the idea of financial assistance in the event of an emergency, you likely hope that you will not need your insurance coverage often. Of course, accidents do happen, and whether you need to call on your automobile insurance company, health insurance company or other provider, you want them to come to your aid.

Though insurance companies often do uphold their ends of their policy agreements, some agencies may act in bad faith. Acting in bad faith typically means that an insurance company did not act in a manner that suits the situation, including unreasonably denying a claim or making a low-ball payout offer. When this happens, you may feel that you have been cheated out of your rightful coverage, and you may be right.

Actions to take

Fortunately, if you believe that your insurance provider has acted in bad faith after you filed a claim, you have legal options for addressing the situation. With such an endeavor, you will need to provide evidence that a breach of contract has occurred. Some actions that could help you ensure that you have the proof you need include the following:

  • Reviewing your insurance policy to ensure that you have filed a covered claim and to determine what aspect of the contract the company has violated
  • Gathering all information sent to the insurance company as part of your claim
  • Keeping records pertaining to calls and meetings held with your insurer regarding your claim
  • Requesting that a supervisor conduct a review of your denied claim in hopes of obtaining a reversal of the decision
  • Attempting to settle your claim with the insurance provider by sending a demand letter and keeping a copy of the letter and return receipt for your records
  • Filing a complaint with the South Dakota Division of Insurance
  • Moving forward with a bad faith lawsuit

Because this type of action has its complexities, you will want to ensure that you follow the proper steps to deal with the issue.

Knowing your rights

If you believe that your insurance provider did not properly handle your claim, you do not have to simply accept a denial or unreasonably low payout offer. Of course, you may feel intimidated by the idea of taking action against an insurance company. Fortunately, you do not have to act alone. An attorney could help you through the process.

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