Having insurance coverage for certain areas of your life is sometimes a requirement by law, and other times, it is not. You, like many other South Dakota residents, many have auto insurance, homeowners' insurance, life insurance and other types of insurance that allow you to feel somewhat protected in the event that a serious incident occurs that can have major financial impacts.
Though insurance is supposed to act as a safeguard, and you likely hoped to never need it, you found yourself in a situation where you needed to submit a claim. You may have ended up in a car accident or in the path of a falling tree, or another sudden incident may have caused serious damage to your home. Whatever the case, you turned to your insurance company for help.
What is acting in bad faith?
You likely anticipated helpful reassurance when you contacted your insurance agent about the situation. However, as time went on, you may have begun to feel ill at ease about your claim. In fact, your insurance company may have acted in bad faith. Many individuals do not know when a company is acting in bad faith, or acts dishonestly or unfairly. Some ways in which your insurance company may have unjustly treated your claim include the following:
- Unreasonably delaying your claim
- Offering less money than your claim is actually worth
- Claiming that your policy does not cover the damage when it does
- Claiming that you did not file the correct paperwork when you did file it or when you did not receive the necessary papers
- Misrepresenting policy language
- Failing to conduct a timely and thorough investigation into your claim
Unfortunately, these examples are not the only ways in which your insurance company may have acted in bad faith. You may have even received threats that negative action would come against you if you pursued a claim. As a result, you undoubtedly feel at a loss.
It does not have to end there
Luckily, you do have options for addressing this type of dishonest treatment. Depending on your exact circumstances, you may have reason to file a bad faith insurance claim against your provider. Discussing this option with an experienced attorney may allow you to better understand whether the insurance company's actions constituted bad faith, how to move forward with a legal claim and what possible outcomes you may face.