Insurance companies act in bad faith when they wrongfully delay, deny, or adjust claims. Policyholders can be stuck in difficult situations when insurers act unreasonably.
Accordingly, you may sue your insurance company for intentionally acting in bad faith. However, you must be able to identify signs that your insurer acted in such a way. There are several signs that indicate an insurance company has acted in bad faith. Bad faith claims can arise from any situation where an insurance company did not carry out its obligations to its policyholder. Policyholders can fight wrongful denials with the help of a bad faith insurance lawyer.
If you think your insurance company acted in bad faith, get help recovering the benefits you deserve. Contact our experienced Philadelphia bad faith insurance lawyers by calling (215) 709-6940 for a free case review.
Signs that Your Insurance Company Acted in Bad Faith in Pennsylvania
Insurers have a duty to act in good faith to pay legitimate claims made under their policies. Insurance companies that fail to satisfy their obligations to policyholders can be held liable in bad faith claims. You should be aware of the following signs that your insurance company might be acting in bad faith:
Unreasonable Claim Denials
Unreasonable claim denials are one of the most common signs of bad faith. Insurance companies must provide you with a legitimate reason for denying your claim. Insurance companies that fail to appropriately justify their denial of benefits have acted in bad faith. Many insurers may try to hide the lack of a legitimate reason by citing an ambiguous insurance policy clause as a basis for denial. Our Pennsylvania bad faith insurance lawyers can offer guidance and support if your insurance claim was unreasonably denied.
Changing or Cancelling Your Policy
Changing or cancelling your policy is also a sign your insurance company acted in bad faith. Some insurers may alter or cancel your policy after making a claim to avoid having to pay. In such cases, your insurer will assert that the eligibility of your claim is dependent on the newly revised or cancelled policy instead of the original terms. Our Pennsylvania insurance bad faith lawyers can help recover compensation if your insurer unjustly changed or cancelled your policy after making a claim.
Lack of Communication
Some insurance adjusters may ignore communications from policyholders to postpone dealing with a claim. A lack of communication from your insurance companies is another sign that they are acting in bad faith. If your insurer has ignored phone calls or written communications, that is a sign they may be acting in bad faith.
Inadequate Settlement Offers
Another sign of bad faith arises when insurance companies make settlement offers far below what your claim is truly worth. Insurers employ this tactic hoping that you will accept the low settlement agreement because you need money. Failing to make a reasonable settlement offer is another sign of bad faith. However, an offer must be severely inadequate in order to constitute an act in bad faith. Our Pennsylvania bad faith insurance lawyers can help determine if a low settlement offer was made in bad faith.
Unreasonably Payment Delays
Some insurers will delay payment of a valid claim. Some delays are standard, but an extraordinarily long delay in payment can constitute bad faith. This tactic can put pressure on policyholders to accept lower settlement offers. Accordingly, delaying payment of a valid claim is also a sign that your insurer is acting in bad faith.
Unreasonable Document Requests
Furthermore, unreasonable document requests are another sign your insurer may have acted in bad faith. Some insurance companies will request an unreasonable amount of documentation related to your accident and injuries when looking for an excuse to deny your claim. You may be able to file a bad faith claim against your insurance company if they have been making unreasonable document requests.
Inappropriately Interpreting Policy Language
Lastly, some insurance companies will misinterpret policy language to avoid paying a valid claim. The following are examples of ways in which an insurer can intentionally misinterpret policy language:
- Intentionally misinterpreting aspects of your policy
- Using policy language in a way other than intended
- Using policy language in a way that is purposely vague or out of date
- Referring to policy language that does not apply to your case
Our Pennsylvania bad faith insurance lawyers can help determine if an insurer has acted in bad faith by misinterpreting your policy language.
Elements of a Bad Faith Insurance Claim in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania has established that bad faith occurs in any situation where there is a frivolous or unfounded refusal to pay the benefits of a policy. There is a two-part test for determining when bad faith has occurred. In order for an insurance claim for bad faith to succeed, the following elements must be established:
- There was no reasonable basis for the denial of benefits.
- The insurer knew of or recklessly ignored its lack of reasonable basis for denying the claim.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court held in the case of Rancosky v. Washington National Insurance Company that plaintiffs must establish the aforementioned elements through clear and convincing evidence. Our Pennsylvania bad faith insurance lawyers can help gather the evidence required to prove your claim.
It is important to note that Pennsylvania courts do not require malicious intent for a bad faith insurance claim to succeed. In other words, plaintiffs will not be required to show that their insurance company acted intentionally. Insurance companies can be held liable in most situations where a claim has been improperly denied. Our team can further explain the elements of bad faith insurance claims during your free case review.
What to Do if You Were the Victim of a Bad Faith Insurance Denial
If you believe your insurance company has acted in bad faith, you may sue your own insurance company for benefits that were improperly denied. However, the process for recovering compensation can be complex. You should contact our experienced Pennsylvania bad faith insurance lawyers for help pursuing your claim. Our team can help ease your stress by building your case and communicating with insurance companies on your behalf.
If You Think Your Insurance Company Acted in Bad Faith, Our Lawyers Can Help
If you think your insurance company acted in bad faith, seek assistance from our experienced Pennsylvania bad faith insurance lawyers by calling (215) 709-6940 for a free case review.