It’s possible that you have submitted a perfectly legitimate claim to the insurance company and now the claim is taking an unreasonably long time to settle, or maybe it has simply been denied. Don’t be shocked.
Unfortunately, an insurance company’s failure to promptly and fairly pay its insured’s claim is a common occurrence. As a policyholder you have paid your premiums and now it feels as if you are on trial for asking the insurance company to own up to its obligations. This isn’t fair, nor is it ethical. In regard to this bad faith tactic, Keller & Keller’s attorneys are prepared to question claims adjusters, investigate company practices, and challenge the insurance company with industry experts.
Understanding Bad Faith Insurance Claims
While no single one of the following factors necessarily indicates that your insurer is acting in bad faith, any combination of them means that a bad faith claim is probably worth considering:
- Unreasonable refusal or delay in investigating a claim
- Repeated or unreasonable requests for information that the insurer already has, or that does not relate to the claim
- Failure to make a reasonable settlement offer within a reasonable time of the claim
- Failure to offer a reasonable settlement once liability is clearly established
- Canceling or threatening to cancel your insurance after you have refused to accept a low offer
Standard & Poor's
Each decision the insurance company makes is heavily calculated. In order for the insurance company to maintain a competitive rating in Standard & Poor’s (Standard & Poor's has been assessing the financial strength of insurance companies since 1971 and is among the world's largest insurance rating organizations), insurance companies need to maintain a 3 to 1 premium to surplus ratio. This means that for every 3 dollars a company underwrites, it should have 1 dollar in surplus to cover losses on its policies. Based in part on the “Law of Large Numbers,” insurers underwrite policies under the assumption that only a small portion of their policyholders will ever need to file a claim.
If an insurer over extends itself, or too many policyholders suffer losses, its 3 to 1 ratio can be negatively impacted, resulting in a downgraded rating in Standard & Poor’s. That’s why most insurers have stop-loss programs that involve training claims adjusters in methods for reducing payouts on policies and claims.
Keller & Keller understands how insurers operate, the unfair practices they sometimes use to avoid paying claims, and what your rights are under the law. We will aggressively defend your rights and expose bad faith practices by insurers in a court of law or negotiating room – either way, we will pursue justice on your behalf.
Standing By Our Clients
As personal injury attorneys, we often see the consequences of an insurer’s bad faith actions – the financial burden of coping with large bills, and overcoming a loss that should have been covered under your policy. When insurance companies engage in this deceptive practice, real people and families suffer. Since 1936, Keller & Keller has represented clients facing this very dilemma, relentlessly pursuing the facts that establish your rights.
If you believe the insurance company has not given your claim their full attention, or you believe they have acted in a way that is unprofessional or suspect, give our Indianapolis office a call so that you can speak to one of our attorneys at no cost. We can evaluate your claim to see what additional money can be had, or possibly charge the insurance company with a Bad Faith Claim.