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What Is an Insurance Dispute?
Filing an insurance claim can be a difficult and lengthy process. From car accident claims to homeowners’ insurance cases, it is very common to find yourself in a disagreement or dispute with the insurance provider.
An insurance dispute can complicate an already-stressful claim. However, having an attorney on your side could improve your chances of the disagreement resolving in your favor. If you are filing a claim, it is important to be aware of the types of disputes you could encounter and how to protect yourself during this process.
Common Examples of Insurance Disputes
Insurance disputes arise when you disagree with the insurance company about the terms of a settlement or the outcome of your claim. Sometimes, the insurance company may deny your claim completely, fail to resolve a claim within a timely manner, or offer a lower amount of compensation than you believe that you deserve.
If you believe that an insurance company made the wrong assessment or that the insurer acted in bad faith, you can dispute the decision. Below are a few examples of situations that could lead to an insurance dispute:
- The insurance adjuster determines that you were at fault in a car accident and therefore your injuries are not covered by the insurance policy.
- Your health insurance company denies your claim by claiming that your coverage does not pay for the procedure that you need.
- A homeowner’s insurance company underestimates the value of your possessions that were destroyed during a house fire.
What Is Insurance Bad Faith?
Many insurance disputes arise because of bad faith. Insurance companies have a responsibility to handle claims in good faith, meaning that they must be fair, and honest, and abide by applicable laws. Unfortunately, some companies fail to act in good faith and instead act in bad faith, meaning that they handle the claim in an unlawful, dishonest way.
It can be difficult to identify bad faith. Some examples of this practice include:
- Denying a claim without providing a reason
- Refusing to pay a claim that is valid under the policy
- Failing to investigate the claim in a timely manner
- Offering less compensation despite the evidence of damages
- Threatening or extorting a claimant
- Failing to communicate any updates about a claim
What Happens During an Insurance Dispute?
When you dispute an insurance company’s decision, you will need to present evidence showing that the company was in the wrong. You will need to show that you deserve extra compensation, that you were not at fault for the accident, or that you are eligible for coverage under the terms of a policy. In cases of bad faith, you will need to prove the insurer’s wrongdoing.
The dispute process can involve multiple negotiations and difficult discussions with the insurance company. It is important to remember that an insurer has to protect its bottom line and sometimes takes steps to limit the amount of compensation it pays to claimants.
Therefore, many of these companies fail to act in their claimants’ best interests. In these situations, it is important to protect yourself. Hiring an attorney with experience handling insurance disputes can help.
A Washington insurance claim attorney is dedicated to protecting the best interests of his or her clients and will advocate aggressively for your right to a fair settlement. Your attorney can gather evidence, negotiate with company representatives, and help you recover the compensation that you deserve. Contact a lawyer as soon as possible to represent your claim and engage in necessary disputes.