The basic concept behind insurance is simple: you pay a premium every month, and when you need coverage for an unexpected calamity covered by your policy, your insurance will kick in and pay an agreed-upon amount. Unfortunately, many insurers place profits over the well-being of their policy holders and do whatever they can to delay, devalue or outright deny your claim.
If you’ve been unjustly treated by your insurance carrier, you have only a small window of time to take action. Call the experienced insurance bad faith attorneys at Fuicelli & Lee, P.C. today at 303-355-7202 to discuss your case for free. We help clients across Colorado’s Front Range, including Denver, Longmont, Pueblo and surrounding areas. Se habla Español.
This page discusses many areas of insurance bad faith, including:
- What Is Insurance Bad Faith?
- Common Types of Insurance Bad Faith
- The Three Ds of Insurance Companies
- Insurance Denial
- Car Insurance Bad Faith
- Home Insurance Bad Faith
- Medical Insurance Bad Faith
- Life Insurance Bad Faith
- How Our Insurance Bad Faith Attorneys Can Help You
- Discuss Your Insurance Bad Faith Case for Free
Insurance agencies have an obligation to treat their policy holders fairly. If you make a claim with your insurer, that company must perform a thorough investigation into your claim and explain their findings. However, insurance companies conduct investigations which are almost always designed to uncover ways to minimize or deny valid claims.
Claims of bad faith typically occur when insurers deny, delay or diminish the value of your claim. In many of these cases, the damages you incur due to your insurance company’s bad faith is an unfair financial burden.
The following are the most commonly reported bad faith insurance practices:
- Deliberately acting in bad faith: Insurance companies routinely deny legitimate claims. By underpaying and outright denying claims, insurers collectively reap more than $30 billion in profits every year.
- Underpaying claims: By failing to fairly investigate claims, insurance companies commonly underpay the losses of their policy holders. They do this by misclassifying damages, inaccurately calculating repair costs and interpreting policies in their favor.
- Grossly delaying claim payments: Insurance claims are complicated and demand accurate analysis of the cause of the damage. Extensive delays can be considered a breach of contract and therefore bad faith.
- Denying legitimate claims: Insurers have a duty to settle valid claims for the policy limits or face potential legal action.
- Canceling an insurance policy completely for an unsubstantiated reason: Your policy can only be cancelled by your insurer for a legitimate reason. Lack of payment, for example. If an insurance company elects to cancel your policy, you must be notified in writing before your policy is canceled.
In an effort to pay less on claims, insurance companies often implement the “three D’s”:
- Delay: For even the most straightforward claims, many insurance companies say they need 30 days to review the claim. Why? Many of these cases could be thoroughly reviewed in an hour or two. The reason for this delay is that insurance companies know that the longer they wait, the less resolve remains in the person making the claim. Studies have shown that the longer insurance companies delay paying a claim, the less they pay.
- Deny: Once the tactic to delay fails, insurance companies often attempt to deny legitimate claims. There are, of course, many variations of denial. Sometimes it is an outright denial of the claim, and other times it is a “lowball offer.” In fact, in an attempt to lowball or deny a claim, some insurance companies specifically classify cases as a Minor Impact Soft Tissue (MIST) case. MIST cases typically involve minor damage to vehicles and “whiplash” type injuries, which insurance companies will argue have little to no value.
- Defend: Unfortunately, insurance companies generally take a no-holds bared, win-at all-costs approach to defending claims. In fact, some insurance companies specifically classify cases as a Minor Impact Soft Tissue (MIST) case. Essentially, MIST cases involve claims with minor damage to the vehicles and “whiplash” type injuries.
Insurance companies are in the business of making money, not paying settlements. Not only do they seek ways to pay their policyholders as little as possible, they also try to uncover ways to deny claims outright. Your insurer may attempt to deny your coverage in a number of ways, such as:
- Refusing to pay for “out of network” emergency care when victims were in no condition to secure pre-approval
- Refusing to pay for pre-approved procedures after they have been performed
- Claiming procedures are experimental despite the opinions of doctors
- Refusing to pay for expensive procedures
Automotive travel is an essential aspect of life for most people. Under Colorado law, drivers are required to have liability insurance. However, other policy options are available, such as:
- Rental car/towing
- Uninsured motorist
- Comprehensive coverage
If you were injured in a Denver car accident, you may face pain, medical expenses, and lost wages. In these already difficult situations, you expect your insurer to treat you fairly and do the right thing. However, insurers frequently place their best interests above those of their policyholders, offering much less than needed, or in the worst cases, completely denying claims altogether.
You have rights. You do not have to take lowball offers from insurance companies. Our skilled insurance bad faith lawyers can determine the true value of your claim and help you seek the maximum compensation you deserve.
When buying a house, you need to protect your investment. To do this, most homeowners purchase property insurance.
There are typically four types of coverage:
- Liability coverage: Liability insurance covers damages incurred by others. If you are sued by someone who was injured on your property, this protection helps to cover the injured party’s medical costs and lost wages, as well as your own legal expenses.
- Coverage of other structures: This coverage option pays for the replacement or repair of structures not attached to your home, like a detached garage, fence or shed.
- Personal property coverage: Catastrophes can affect more than just your home. This is used to cover losses such as clothing, electronics and furniture.
- Dwelling coverage: In the event of fire and smoke, flood, lightning, wind, hail, this coverage can help to cover the costs of repairing or rebuilding your house.
At Fuicelli & Lee, P.C., we know how insurance agencies operate. We fight for the rights of property owners and we aren’t intimidated by insurance agency legal teams. If you have a dispute with your insurer, call us today.
More than other types of insurance, health coverage has the potential to make life or death decisions for their policyholders. In an effort to avoid their responsibilities, some insurance companies wrongly claim:
- The medical provider is out of network
- The policy doesn’t cover the procedure or the procedure isn’t necessary
- The policyholder made an error in the paperwork
If your insurance company is trying to settle for less than you need or attempting to deny a legitimate claim, contact Fuicelli & Lee, P.C. today for a complimentary consultation.
After the loss of a loved one, benefits from a life insurance policy can be critical to your family’s financial security and your future well-being. Unfortunately, insurers often try to deny payments by claiming:
- The death never occurred
- The deceased’s employer did not provide the proper documentation
- There was a lapse in policy
- A non-covered exclusion was responsible for the death
- Material misrepresentations in the life insurance application
Losing someone you love and depend on is hard enough. You deserve the life insurance benefits to which you are lawfully entitled. If you are struggling with an adversarial insurance company, contact us today to discuss your case for free.
When you make regular premium payments, you expect that your claims process will be fair and simple in the event of a catastrophe. However, the goal of insurance companies is to maximize their profits while minimizing their expenditures.
Unlike insurance companies that see you as just another claim number, at Fuicelli & Lee, P.C., you are our top priority. We know how important a fair settlement is to your future and the well-being of your family, and we will work tirelessly to protect your rights and fight for your best interests. We have extensive experience with bad faith claims, so we know the tactics insurers use and how to successfully advocate on your behalf.
If you live in Denver, Longmont, Pueblo or other area along the Front Range and need an experienced insurance bad faith lawyer you can trust, call Fuicelli & Lee, P.C. today at 303-355-7202 for a free consultation. We handle cases on a contingency fee basis, which means you owe us nothing unless we reach a successful outcome in your case.