Insurance Bad Faith

California Insurance Bad Faith Attorneys

It's the law. Insurance companies have the duty to act in good faith and to deal fairly with policyholders. Unfortunately, many insurance companies are motivated by profit and providing shareholder returns, rather than their duty to obey the law and engage in ethical claims handling conduct.  With many decades of practice, they have developed sophisticated schemes designed to protect their bottom line at the expense of their policyholders or claimants—and they have well-financed legal staffs who are rewarded for limiting or preventing your recovery of damages.

When you purchase insurance, your policy is a contract between you (the Insured) and your insurance company (the Insurer). Both parties to the contract are bound to the contract terms and are required by law to act in good faith. The Insured agrees to pay premiums for specific coverage and the Insurer agrees to supply the coverage and to administer claims in good faith. An insurance company that wrongfully denies a legitimate claim acts in bad faith and is in breach of the contract.

An insurance carrier, however, does have a right to deny a claim if you have not honored your obligation under the contract, by, for example, not paying your premiums, or by making a claim not covered by your policy.

What Are Your Legal Rights?

When your insurer violates the terms of your insurance contract or the California Insurance Code, you have the right to sue the carrier. With the help of an experienced attorney you may take legal action to recover the damages that should have been paid by the insurance company. Under certain circumstances you may be able to collect the additional expenses that arise from a lawsuit. In the case of intentional misconduct by the insurance carrier, you may be entitled to collect exemplary or punitive damages, which are intended to deter wrongful conduct by the insurance carrier.

At Baker and Oring, LLP, our attorneys are dedicated to protecting our clients' rights when insurance companies use fraudulent practices to deny or withhold payment of legitimate policyholders' claims. Over the years, we have helped thousands of individuals and their families throughout Southern California with a broad range of insurance coverage problems, including wrongful denial of benefits.

Common Bad Faith Tactics

The following are among the bad-faith tactics insurance companies often use:

  • Failure to investigate your claim in a timely manner
  • Failure to investigate your claim thoroughly
  • Failure to offer a settlement within a reasonable amount of time when the investigation is complete.
  • Failure to inform you of additional benefits
  • Altering the policy without your knowledge
  • Failure to follow claims' manual procedures
  • Concealing facts about your claim
  • Delaying payment
  • Unreasonably denying benefits
  • Using any form of fraud or harassment during the claim's investigation
  • Using unreasonable interpretations in translating policy language
  • Refusing to settle your case
  • Refusing to reimburse your loss in its entirety

In an effort to increase corporate profits, insurance companies regularly use deceptive practices to deny or withhold compensation for legitimate claims, often targeting the elderly, the poor, and the injured who—due to an interruption in their income stream because of an injury—may be least able to fight back or afford legal help. Even if you don’t have a policy with an insurance company known for bad-faith practices, you can still fall victim to the unfair claims-handling practices of overly aggressive insurance company personnel or insurance defense attorneys.

How We Can Help

If you are a victim of insurance bad-faith claims handling practices, your first step should be finding trusted legal advice. If you and your insurance company disagree on the interpretation of policy terms, your insurer presents a low-ball settlement offer, or your insurance carrier denies your claim outright, you need the bargaining power of an expert plaintiff’s insurance lawyer on your side. With a specialized skill set and knowledge base derived from more than 100 years of collective experience in handling insurance bad faith cases—as well as Mark Oring's expertise evidenced by his many years teaching insurance law—you can count on the Baker and Oring, LLP, team to get results.

When you are confronted with the ruthless actions of a an insurer and need legal help, we invite you to call our law firm at (310) 822-3377 to arrange an appointment with one of our insurance attorneys and learn how our experience can benefit you.

This web site is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. [ Sitemap ]

Attorney Niche Marketing by One Link Media