extreme weather

Extreme Weather and Bad Faith Insurance

As per information from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), there is a recognized connection between climate change and a heightened frequency and severity of extreme weather events across the United States. According to a study conducted by ValuePenguin, weather-related property damages between 2017 and 2021 reached $121.4 billion. In this same study, Texas ranked highest for amount of weather-related damages. It is estimated that in North Texas alone, hail storms account for around $1 billion in property related damages yearly. A large portion of these damages are not covered by insurance. Insurance claims are denied for a variety of reasons so it is important that policyholders understand the terms and conditions of their relationship with insurance companies. In some instances however, insurance companies deny claims without sufficient evidence to support their decision to do so. This may be referred to as a bad faith insurance practice.

What is Bad Faith Insurance?

Bad faith insurance refers to the improper conduct of an insurance company in handling a claim made by one of its policyholders. Insurance companies have a legal obligation to act in good faith when dealing with their customers, which means they should fairly and promptly investigate claims, provide a reasonable explanation for claim denials, and pay valid claims promptly.

What are examples of bad faith insurance practices?

  1. Unreasonable Delay: Deliberate delays in processing a claim without a valid reason.
  2. Unreasonable Denial: Denying a valid claim without proper investigation or without a reasonable basis.
  3. Failure to Investigate: Failing to thoroughly investigate a claim in a timely manner.
  4. Misrepresentation: Providing false information or misrepresenting policy terms to avoid paying a claim.
  5. Lowballing: Offering an unreasonably low settlement amount for a valid claim.
  6. Breach of Contract: Failing to uphold the terms and conditions outlined in the insurance policy.
  7. Refusal to Communicate: Ignoring or refusing to respond to communications from the policyholder or their representatives.

When an insurance company engages in bad faith practices, the affected policyholder may have legal recourse. Laws regarding bad faith insurance practices vary by jurisdiction, but in many cases, policyholders can take legal action to seek damages beyond the original claim amount. This may include compensation for emotional distress, attorney’s fees, and, in some cases, punitive damages.

If you suspect that you are a victim of bad faith insurance practices, it’s advisable to consult with an attorney who specializes in insurance law. They can provide guidance on your specific situation and help you navigate the legal process. Keep in mind that laws and regulations regarding insurance and bad faith practices may change, so it’s essential to consult with a legal professional for the most up-to-date and accurate information.

About Forester Haynie

Forester Haynie takes Bad Faith Insurance claims very seriously. If you or someone you know were denied claims by insurance, you may be entitled to compensation. We will contact you in the event it is determined that you qualify for a settlement. Case settlements often take time, so you will have to be patient with us while we fight for you. Forester Haynie does not charge our clients any up front fees or case costs. Unlike many firms, we only get paid when you do. 

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