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Millions of Americans regularly pay for various types of insurance in order to protect themselves in the event of an unforeseen event. Inherent to every type of insurance policy is a contractual agreement that the company providing the insurance will act in good faith and deal fairly.
The unfortunate truth is that all insurance companies are businesses, and they are thus always inclined to do whatever is necessary to minimize the amounts they pay on policy claims. While companies will often seek out some types of loophole in the coverage that justifies denying a claim, there are occasions in which tactics are used to delay, deny, or make it excessively difficult for policyholders to obtain benefits.
Such conduct is considered acting in bad faith. Insurance companies are prohibited from violating the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and victims may have legal recourse for the harm they suffered.
If you believe that you have been the victim of an insurance company acting in bad faith, you will want to make sure that you have experienced legal counsel. Ciccarelli Law Offices fights to help bad faith insurance victims get the compensation that they are entitled to.
Our Chester County insurance claim attorneys work as a team for clients in and around Radnor, Plymouth Meeting, Springfield, Philadelphia, King of Prussia, Lancaster, Kennett Square, and West Chester. You can have our lawyers review your case and discuss all of your legal options when you call (610) 719-3190 for a completely free initial consultation.
Insurance claims are considered to either be first party or third party claims. First part claims are those filed by the actual policyholders with their own insurance companies, while third party claims are filed by injured parties against the insurance companies of the negligent parties.
Bad faith claims may arise in virtually any area of insurance, including—but not limited to:
The duties of an insurance company depend on whether the claim is considered a first party or third party claim. In first party claims filed by policyholders, the company is obligated to investigate the claim, determine whether the injury or damage is covered, and pay the policyholder the proper value for the claim.
Third party claims are a bit more complex, as an insurance company typically has a duty to defend a claim (or possibly lawsuit) and possibly provide compensation to the third party. Some of the most common examples of an insurance company acting bad faith include, but are not limited to:
Pennsylvania Insurance Department — The state insurance department has a responsibility to protect insurance consumers by administering the laws of the commonwealth pertaining to the regulation of the insurance industry. On this website, you can file a complaint, learn more about various types of insurance coverage, and find answers to frequently asked questions. You can also find product notices, various filings, and learn more about choosing an insurance company.
National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) — The NAIC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization created and governed by the chief insurance regulators from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and five United States territories. You can learn more about the NAIC’s committees and activities, recent news, and upcoming meeting and events on this website. The NAIC website also has special sections dedicated to consumer education with various booklets and guides.
Insured's Bad Faith as Shield or Sword: Litigation Relief for Insurers? | Marquette Law Review — This 1993 article is a thorough examination of insurance bad faith issues. The article covers a policyholder’s bad faith claim for relief, comparative fault and comparative bad faith, and other issues. You can also learn much more about the differences between the handling of first party and third party claims.
Do you think that you have been the victim of an insurance company acting in bad faith in regards to your recent claim? Because of the very limited amount of time you have to take action, it will be in your best interest to have legal representation as soon as possible.
Ciccarelli Law Offices pursues justice for clients in communities throughout Delaware County, Philadelphia County, Lancaster County, Montgomery County, and Chester County. Call (610) 719-3190 or complete an online form right now to have our West Chester personal injury attorneys review your case during a free consultation.