Make no mistake about it – insurers like to behave badly to get your money. Learn what to do if you suspect foul play.
Unfortunately – and this is the reality – Texas law favors insurance companies.
And not you.
And would you believe you have it comparatively good here in Texas? Over the years, the insurance industry has lobbied to ensure no federal agency oversees their industry’s actions. The authority currently only comes from the state level.
What Does “Bad Faith” Mean?
“Bad faith” is a technical legal term that simply means an insurance company denies or minimizes your claim with no reasonable basis. However, they can attempt to get away with this by claiming it was a mistake in their assessment process.
There is a counter to their deviousness, though. Texas is one state that allows you to seek punitive damages in “bad faith” insurance cases. That provides a financial incentive for insurance companies not to engage in bad behavior.
What Actions May Constitute “Bad Faith?”
“Bad faith” isn’t simple or straightforward. It’s hard to prove in court. However, if you experience any of the following, you may have experienced “bad faith” actions from the insurance company:
- An automatic coverage denial with no initial investigation
- Misquoting the Texas statute of limitations to either delay or deny your claim
- Changing adjusters simply to delay your claim
- Refusing to investigate your claim entirely
- Not giving you a written statement of the reasons they’re denying your claim
- Not paying or denying your claim within a reasonable time period
- Citing laws improperly to deny or minimize the value of your claim
- Improperly quoting legal terms, or blatantly using false ones, to deny or minimize your claim
- The insurer attempts to settle a claim for much less than the amount a reasonable person would have believed they were entitled to, and any similar actions that require the insured party to use litigation
- Lowballing the true value of an insured loss
- Using arbitrary or subjective measures to reduce the full value of the claim
- Cancelling a policy where the insured person was not at fault
- Using extreme personal persecution to victimize or intimidate claimants into not pursuing their claims
- Knowingly telling a plaintiff, their attorney, or DOI examiner an investigation is going on when in fact it is not
- Misusing the judicial court system to delay or settle a claim where liability is clear and reasonable
- Threatening to take legal action against an insured person to stop having to make payment on a long-term basis (such as the case of disability or worker’s compensation)
There’s a much longer list of actions that quality as “bad faith.” Basically, if you’re suspicious of the way your case is going, contact a Dallas personal injury lawyer.
They offer free consultations, so you risk nothing finding out if your insurer is acting in “bad faith.”