Bad Faith Insurance Claims Explained
When you purchase an insurance policy, you expect to be covered when disaster strikes. This is why you pay your monthly premiums. If something like an auto accident, personal injury, wrongful death, or property damage occurs, you can file a claim and recoup money needed for medical bills, repairs, or lost wages. Unfortunately, insurance companies don’t always hold up their end of the deal. When this happens, individuals can lose out on the finances needed to get back on their feet.
If an insurance company fails to investigate or pay you for a claim filed, they’re acting in bad faith. This leaves individuals in a vulnerable position. Insurance providers are large organizations with connections, experience, and resources at their disposal. They even resort to intimidation in some cases. However, acting in bad faith is a violation of the contract you have with your insurance provider, which means you have the right to file a bad faith insurance claim against them.
South Carolina Laws Regarding Bad Faith
Section 38-59-20 of the South Carolina Code of Laws breaks down a number of guidelines that constitute improper claims practices on behalf of insurance companies. A few of these include:
- Failing to act promptly to claims filed
- Failing to implement standards for the investigation of claims
- Failing to act in good faith when a settlement should be paid out
- Knowingly misrepresenting facts or policy provisions related to a claim
An insurance company may also be acting in bad faith if they delay payment or only pay a portion of a claim. If any of these things occur, a person can pursue damages from their insurance provider. They can also recover compensation for attorney’s fees. A judge may even rule that an insurance company has to pay punitive damages as additional punishment for acting in bad faith.
Steps to Take If Your Insurance Company Failed to Act on a Claim
If you feel your insurance company acted in bad faith after you filed a claim, you’ll need to work with an attorney who specializes in these matters. However, there are some things you should do on your own in preparation for filing a claim.
To start, it’s important you review your insurance policy in detail to ensure your provider failed to fulfill their responsibilities. It’s also vital to save all information related to your claim, including the denial or bad faith behavior exhibited by the insurance company.
You’ll need to file a complaint with the South Carolina Department of Insurance. They may be able to help you resolve your claim and get you the money you deserve. However, there’s a good chance you’ll need to move forward with a bad faith lawsuit. This is a complicated process, so make sure you hire an experienced attorney in your area.
Contact a Rock Hill Bad Faith Insurance Attorney
Don’t let a powerful insurance company take advantage of you. If you feel your provider acted in bad faith after you filed a claim on your policy, you need an attorney to protect your rights. The attorneys at the Law Offices of F. Craig Wilkerson have the experience and know-how to help you recoup your well-deserved money. Contact us at (803) 324-7200 to schedule a consultation today.