Insurance companies have dedicated staffs of insurance adjustors, attorneys and accountants who are charged with minimizing your damage payments. In the best circumstances, the conduct of these parties can be inconvenient and time-consuming. In the worst circumstances, an insurance company’s tactics to deny coverage can cross the line into bad faith.
What is insurance bad faith?
In Oklahoma, an insurance policy has the status of a contract. This means that both parties, the insurer and the insured, must act in good faith. Good faith means acting honestly and reasonably. In the context of an insurance policy, it means upholding the terms of that policy. Examples of bad faith by insurers include failing to process claims on-time, refusing to pay a reasonable settlement amount and making wrongful threats not to honor claims.
What to do if your insurer acts in bad faith
Policy holders must be on-guard for bad-faith insurance tactics. Precautionary measures include:
- Consulting an experienced insurance bad-faith lawyer who recognizes shady conduct by insurers and understands the specific terms of your insurance policy
- Reading all settlement offers carefully and not settling until you are aware of the full scope of your injuries and your potential for coverage
- Not admitting fault in your insurance claim — this may be used against you by insurers in their efforts to reduce coverage amounts or deny claims
- Not signing medical authorization forms that allow the insurer to view your prior medical history
An experienced Oklahoma City bad-faith insurance attorney can provide you with the guidance necessary to combat unsavory tactics by insurance companies and achieve the maximum amount of coverage allowed under your insurance policy.
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Marcus P. Mears is a founding partner of Cunningham & Mears. Mr. Mears is committed to helping Oklahoma’s injured victims in the areas of injury law and insurance litigation. Mr. Mears was selected to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum for his work as lead counsel in multiple seven figure injury cases. Learn More