Houston’s Bad Faith Attorney’s: Know What to Lookout For
Our Houston bad faith insurance attorneys understand the importance of receiving payments from insurance claims. When it comes to insurance, you expect good faith practices from your insurance carrier to feel protected under your policy.
However, many insurance companies utilize bad faith tactics to delay or avoid paying out claims. There are numerous practices that they employ to deny completely valid claims. The insurance claims lawyers at The Cobos Law Firms fight on your behalf to help you receive the compensation you deserve. Contact our Houston law firm today to see how we can help you.
What Is Bad Faith Insurance?
The term “bad faith insurance” refers to any attempt on an insurer’s part to renege on their obligation to a client. Oftentimes, this comes in the form of a refusal to pay out legitimate claims made by policyholders. However, at times they also refuse to investigate and process a claim in a reasonable timeframe.
An insurance company acts in bad faith when it misrepresents the language of a contract to a policyholder in order to avoid payments. Moreover, this includes a failure to disclose policy limitations or exclusions prior to the purchase of a policy. Additionally, bad faith includes unreasonable demands of proof for a covered loss.
When you suspect your insurance company acts in bad faith, it is crucial to consult a Houston bad faith insurance attorney. With an insurance claims lawsuit lawyer, Houston policyholders have an advocate to help them confront their insurance company.
When Do Insurance Companies Act in Bad Faith?
When you sustain any injury in a car accident or suffer the loss of your property, bad faith insurance companies often attempt to avoid payments to your valid claim. Whether they attempt to deny or delay your payment, they leave you paying for your expenses out of pocket. For many, this leads to devastating costs. In turn, this causes mounting debt.
When you maintain regular payments to your insurance company, you need to be confident that they have your back in covered situations. Bad faith practices strip you of this confidence and leave you out in the cold.
However, as experienced bad faith insurance attorneys in Houston, we understand that some insurers do not intentionally act in bad faith. While errors occur and claims slip through cracks in processing, you still need the peace of mind that comes with knowing you have coverage.
Common Tactics Seen By Bad Faith Insurance Attorneys
At The Cobos Law Firm, our Houston bad faith insurance lawyers recognize the array of tactics that insurance companies use. At first, they might seem to be a mild inconvenience. However, they often become a pattern easily recognized by policyholders.
For instance, when your insurance company repeatedly loses the paperwork you submit, asking you to resubmit documents continuously, it is likely a bad faith tactic. Moreover, they might deny valid claims in the hope that you simply go away without trying to appeal their decision. Below are a few other tactics commonly used by bad faith insurance companies.
- Lack of a full investigation of your claim
- Refusing to pay claims in a timely manner
- Offering payments below the value of your claim
- Canceling your policy after you submit a claim
- Using past claims to deny a current, valid claim
- Misrepresenting the facts of your contract or claim
- Requiring excessive or repeated submission of paperwork
Understanding Bad Faith Insurance
Bad faith insurance tactics are not limited to one type of insurance company. As Houston’s bad faith insurance claims lawyers, we see these tactics in health insurance, car insurance, life insurance, and homeowners’ insurance. Any type of insurance policy can fall prey to these predatory tactics.
While a difference of opinion between you and your insurance adjuster is common, refusal to fulfill a valid claim is unconscionable. When someone makes a mistake, it does not constitute bad faith. However, when they ignore evidence that supports the basis for your claim or solely looks for evidence to support their denial, it is a bad faith tactic.
Moreover, insurers failing to reply promptly to a claim or committing an act of negligence is grounds for a bad faith insurance claim. Insurers are responsible for an explanation as to why they deny insurance coverage or only provide partial coverage for a claim. With a bad faith insurance attorney on your side, you can hold them accountable.
How to File a Bad Faith Insurance Claim
When you work with our Houston bad faith insurance attorneys, they help you through the process of initiating a claim or lawsuit. Acting as your advocate throughout the process, they fight to hold your insurer accountable for willful or unintentional negligence.
Review Your Insurance Policy
Your insurance policy is a contract between you and your insurer. Before you file a bad faith insurance lawsuit, lawyers need to know whether the insurer violated your contract. Provide your attorney with a full version of your policy and ensure that the date starts before your claim.
When possible, it is good to have a copy of your policy before you file an insurance claim. Your attorney will review the policy to ensure your claim is covered.
Track Your Claim
In a bad faith insurance lawsuit, you must prove the validity of the original claim. Work with your bad faith claims attorney to provide all the documentation and evidence needed. This includes a broad spectrum of potential evidence. However, your lawyer will help you determine what is necessary for your case.
Examples include the following.
- Photos provided to your insurer
- Police reports (if applicable)
- Correspondence with the insurer
- Receipts from relevant care
- Estimates on any repairs
As you gather information, maintain a log of any and all contact you have with the insurance company, including calls and meetings. Be sure to include the date, names of those involved, and the general topics discussed.
Document the Denial of Your Claim
If the insurer denies your claim, request that a supervisor review the claim. Should they refuse to reverse their decision, your Houston bad faith insurance attorneys might consider appealing to the Texas Department of Insurance. This office reviews contested insurance claims across Texas.
At this point, your insurer may reconsider the denial of your claim. Once more, be sure to log any and all interactions with the company and any statements they make regarding the denial.
At The Cobos Law Firm, we utilize our strategic mindset to help you attain the best outcome possible. If the insurance company does not offer a satisfactory outcome at this stage, we consult with you and may recommend continuing to fight.
Making a Final Demand
Before filing a bad faith insurance lawsuit, your lawyer may send a written demand letter that details your claim. This is because it is important to show that you made every attempt to settle the claim before pursuing a lawsuit.
Typically, the insurer has between 15 – 60 days to respond. Should the insurance company continue to refuse payment for your claim, your lawyer will file a lawsuit against them.
Filing a Lawsuit with Your Houston Bad Faith Insurance Attorneys
Filing a lawsuit is no easy task, but your Houston bad faith insurance attorneys are here to take care of you. Oftentimes, these complaints include additional claims, such as violations of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act, fraud, breach of contract, negligent representation, or negligence.
With the right advocate on your side, you might have the option to seek damages in addition to compensation under your insurance policy.
Call Our Houston Bad Faith Insurance Attorneys for a Free Consultation
When your insurer acts in bad faith, you have options to pursue compensation. It is the duty of an insurance company to act in good faith for its policyholders. When they refuse to fulfill these duties, courts may order awards that fairly compensate you as an insurance policyholder.
If you believe that your insurance company denied your claim in bad faith or uses bad faith insurance practices, call on The Cobos Law Firm for a free case evaluation. As experienced personal injury lawyers in Houston, we know how to handle bad faith insurance claims against insurance companies.
At your free consultation, you have the opportunity to share your bad faith insurance case. More importantly, this consultation is a chance for you to see how we use our strategic mindset to pursue your best interests.
Call us today at 713.234.5860 or fill out our online form. Let us help you hold your insurer accountable.