Insurance Claims and Bad Faith Insurance
Every month you pay your insurance premiums with the belief that your insurer will be there when you need it. You purchase insurance for your car, home, health and business as an effort to protect yourself. The insurance company appears to be on your side, until you file a claim. Suddenly, you become the insurer’s adversary.
Insurance companies are notorious for being difficult to work with and they frequently deny insurance claims, make lowball settlement offers and delay payments. Why are some of the largest insurers using these bad faith insurance tactics? You have to remember that insurance companies are in the business of making money, not paying claims.
If you are in battle with the insurance company, you need an experienced New Hampshire insurance lawyer. Please contact the Law Offices of Van Dorn, Curtiss & Rousseau online or at (866) 933-6115 to schedule a free consultation and learn more about your rights. We handle bad faith insurance claims in New Hampshire and Vermont, including Manchester, Nashua, and Concord.
Do You Have a Bad Faith Insurance Claim?
If you feel that the insurance company acted in bad faith, you may be able to file a claim against them. Some examples of bad faith insurance actions include:
- Wrongfully denying your insurance claim
- Trying to settle your claim for an unfair amount
- Delaying the payment of your insurance claim
- Misrepresenting the facts
- Refusing to pay benefits
- Failing to promptly and thoroughly investigate your claim
At Van Dorn, Curtiss & Rousseau, our Vermont bad faith insurance attorneys strive to get you fair and just settlements from insurance companies.
While an insurance settlement can make all the difference when your property is damaged or when you are injured, to the insurance company, you are only a case number. Your idea of a just settlement may be different than what your insurer has in mind. The insurance adjuster has a settlement range to work within and will typically start at the lower end. In fact, there have even been reports of major insurance companies rewarding employees for settling claims quickly, for as little amount as possible. A knowledgeable New Hampshire insurance lawyer from our office can step in on your behalf to negotiate a fair and just settlement.
Tricks Used by the Insurance Companies to Deny or Minimize Your Claim
As the insurance companies see it, their function is not to help you when you are sick or injured. Insurance companies are focused on their bottom line. Their function is to make money, and they don’t make money by paying out claims. Insurance companies make money by collecting your premiums and then figuring out ways to limit your payout, or deny your claim all together.
Recently, insurance companies have been developing new tricks to increase their profits. Among their new tricks are:
- Voiding Claims – Though it seems unethical, insurance companies have become skilled at voiding insurance policies after a claim is filed. What the companies do is accept an application for insurance and collect your premiums. Then, if one of their policy holders makes a claim, they will sift through the application for any piece of information they can use to void the policy. For those who have applied for insurance coverage, you know how much information the insurance companies ask for. One mistake on that application and the insurance company will try to void your policy. These companies have gone so far as to void an insurance policy while the claimant was undergoing chemotherapy for cancer. The insurance company found a difference between the claimant’s weight as listed on her application, and the claimant’s actual weight. It has been discovered that some insurance companies give their employees bonuses for the number of claims they deny and the number of policies they void.
- Pressuring Policy Holders – Aside from voiding policies outright, insurance companies use other means to avoid paying out policy claims. They may also encourage and even pressure their policy holders to seek other means of medical benefits. A former insurance exec recently revealed that his company forced claimants to file for Social Security Disability benefits. If a claimant refused to apply for the benefits, the company used this as leverage to reduce or eliminate their payouts. If a claimant is denied disability benefits, sometimes the insurance companies require the claimant to go through a protracted appeals process.
If a claimant does receive disability benefits, the insurance companies will subtract the amount paid in disability from the claimant’s policy payout. Essentially, insurance companies have the authority to determine who may receive benefits and the authority to pay benefits. As some have argued, this creates a conflict of interest.
If you have been the victim of personal injury in Vermont or New Hampshire, it is important to hire a full service law firm. Don’t fall for the attorney advertisements that claim they will get you money fast. Our law firm will not just take your claim to court or negotiate a settlement; we will use our expertise to deal with insurance companies and negotiate medical liens in your favor to help ensure you are awarded every penny you are due.
To schedule your free case evaluation with one of our experienced New Hampshire insurance attorneys, please call (866) 933-6115 today. We protect people from insurance company tricks and tactics throughout Vermont and New Hampshire.