Bad faith refers to when your insurer is denying your claim in an unreasonable or dishonest way. Because insurance adjusters are always working to minimize or deny a claim, it can be difficult to determine what was done in bad faith and what was reasonable, but it’s important that you learn the difference.
If an adjuster is using bad faith tactics on your negotiations, you need to respond appropriately so that you can get what you deserve. At Bighorn Law, we know how complicated and frustrating the negotiation process can be. We are here to help you and can help identify if you’ve been treated unfairly by your insurer.
What Are Bad Faith Tactics?
Most insurers will try to slow down the claim process as well as try to deny your claim. It becomes bad faith when they do so without giving you any reason for their actions or when they slow down the process so much that it basically has stopped progressing. For example, many adjusters will give a first offer that is very, very low. You should then write to them asking for the reasons why the offer was so low. If they never respond, or if they offer no reasons, they may be acting in bad faith. According to injuryClaimCoach.com, here are some examples of bad faith tactics:
• Deny your claim immediately for no reason
• Deny your claim without looking at the facts
• Offer an incredibly low offer that is not based on the facts
• Offer an incredibly low offer and refuse to provide reasoning
• Ignore or not respond to your questions and communication
• Tell you it’s too late to file the claim when that isn’t true
• Inform you that another adjuster is working on your claim when that isn’t true
• Tell you he’s lost your claim and has to start a new one when that isn’t true
• Unreasonably prolong negotiations
• Demand forms that are unnecessary
As you can see, there are many different actions that could be considered bad faith. Generally they involve situations when your adjuster is being dishonest, not communicating, or prolonging the process for no reason. Now that you can identify when you’re being treated unfairly, you can respond and make them abandon those tactics. But what’s the best way to respond?
Write a Formal Letter
In your letter, demand that your adjuster put his actions in writing and provide the exact reasoning behind what he is doing. If your adjuster does not respond, send another letter explaining what actions were done in bad faith and remind him that he is not responding to your requests. Adjusters and their insurance companies do not want to get involved in bad faith lawsuits or get reported to state insurance boards, and these letters will often discourage them from using unfair tactics. If they still continue to act in bad faith, these letters can be used as evidence in your eventual lawsuit.
Suing your insurance company can seem intimidating and overwhelming, but if you are not being negotiated with fairly, you must respond. Our attorneys at Bighorn Law can help get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us today.