Do You Know When the Time Is Right to Sue Your Insurance?
Insurance claims don’t always work the way that they should. Sometimes policyholders feel like they should have received more for their claims. Sometimes they feel like their claim was denied for little to no reason. One of the most common questions we receive is whether you can sue your own insurance company—the answer is a resounding yes. Whatever your circumstances, if you feel like you weren’t given a fair share, it might be time to sue your insurance company.
If you notice these five signs, it’s time to call your attorney.
#1: Your Insurance Denies Your Claim without Explanation
When your insurance company denies a claim, they usually provide an explanation for the denial. Similarly, your company may have denied your claim without a thorough and proper investigation in the hopes that you will not challenge their decision. But by law, they are required to carefully investigate your claim to determine coverage.
If your insurance does not explain the basis for the denial or fails to take your claim seriously, then you should seek legal counsel.
#2: Your Insurance Excessively Delays Your Claim
The purpose of insurance companies is to make money—at least that’s what those whose job it is to make that money say. When an insurance company takes longer to make a payment for a claim, they have more time to use that money for their own purposes—i.e., they can use it against you. They know that you might get desperate, which means you might settle for a smaller amount.
But according to Florida statutes, your insurer is required to pay you within a reasonable timeframe. They have 14 days to acknowledge your claim after you file it; 30 days to decide whether to approve or deny your claim; and 20 days to pay you if they approve your claim.
While certain claims are more complex than others, you are entitled to receive a proper notice and payment within the specified time periods.
If you have experienced a delay in payment, ask your insurance company to provide their reason in writing. It may come in handy if you choose to proceed with your case.
#3: Your Insurance Refers You to Their Attorney
After communicating with you about a claim that you’ve filed, your insurance provider might refer you to their attorney for further communication. If this happens, you should get legal counsel, too. This action shows that they are preparing to defend themselves. You’re going to need help, so don’t wait to get in touch with your lawyer.
#4: Your Insurance Fails to Defend You in a Liability Lawsuit When You Are Covered
In liability lawsuits that others file against you, your insurance has a duty to defend you. Refer to your policy to see what their responsibilities are if such a case is brought against you. Usually, they are required to hire an attorney to defend you for covered claims. If they do not defend you, but you are covered, you can sue them for “bad faith” and recover the costs of going to court.
#5: Your Insurance Denies You in Bad Faith
All of the above examples are considered “bad faith” insurance practices. Other examples include making threats against you, interpreting contracts in an unreasonable way, failing to complete an investigation into a claim, offering less money than a claim is worth, and deceptive practices in general. If you feel that your insurance provider is acting in bad faith, or you feel that you have not been treated fairly, it’s important to talk to a legal professional to see what options you have moving forward.
Are you the victim of bad faith insurance practices? It might be time to sue your insurance. Get in touch with us today.