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What constitutes “bad faith”?
In 1990, the Pennsylvania Legislature enacted the “bad faith statute.” Essentially, the statute requires that an insurance company take reasonable steps in dealing with an insurance claim under a contract of insurance, such as auto or homeowner’s policy. Bad faith is a very complex area of the law. Bad faith refers to dishonesty or fraud in a transaction, such as entering into an agreement with no intention of ever living up to its terms, or knowingly misrepresenting the quality of something that is being bought or sold. It may involve the intent to deceive or mislead you in order to gain some advantage. It is often related to a breach of the obligation inherent in all contracts such as paying claims, or issuing a cancellation under an insurance policy.
Insurers may be guilty of bad faith for:
- Failing to promptly and thoroughly investigate a claim;
- Unreasonably delay payment;
- Unreasonably deny benefits to a claim
- Using unreasonable interpretations in translating a policy language;
- Refusing to settle the case or reimburse you for the entirety of your loss.
Each year, we win our clients millions of dollars in compensation. If your insurance company failed to fairly handle your claim, lets us help you recover the money you deserve.
What types of insurance claims does Fellerman & Ciarimboli deal with?
There are many different types of insurance bad faith claim cases. Fellerman & Ciarimboli has been successful in forcing insurance companies to pay money to their insured for mishandling their claims for years.
Here are the types of insurance bad faith cases we provide expertise in:
- Automobile insurance policies typically cover property damage, personal injury, and other losses specifically covered by your policy. The insurance company has an obligation to investigate and pay your claim within a reasonable amount of time. If your insurance company fails to pay, or pays an inadequate amount under the policy, then they may be acting in bad faith.
- Homeowners’ insurance policies require an insurance company to cover losses for fire, theft, and liability. If your insurance company refuses to pay benefits for damages due to the loss to your home or it’s contents, or if your insurance company refuses to fairly and properly investigate and pay your claim, then the insurance company might be acting in bad faith.
- Life insurance is a protection against the loss of income that would result if the insured passed away. The named beneficiary receives the proceeds and is thereby safeguarded from the financial impact of the death of the insured. Bad faith claims arise when insurers fail to pay life benefits, as they are contracted to do, to the designated beneficiary or beneficiaries.
- When the insurance company does not pay a reasonable amount for damages within a reasonable time, it may amount to bad faith. These are often claims that have been denied or that have been offered unreasonably low settlements for claims involving roof damage, hail damage, mold, fire, theft of personal property, injury, and more.
- Insurers who refuse to pay disability benefits can be liable for the benefits owed, damages for the emotional distress, and punitive damages in order to punish fraudulent conduct.