Let Us Help You Hold Insurers Accountable For Bad Faith Practices
Like just about everybody else, you presumably purchased insurance to cover many of the bad and sometimes unforeseeable things that can take place without warning in your personal or professional life. Then, should disaster strike, you have the needed coverage to recuperate quickly from your losses without encountering any financial distress – at least, that’s how things are support to work.
In some instances, these big insurance companies will mislead or even misinform us in order to evade their responsibility to examine a claim or give the appropriate payout. When this happens, the insurance company is considered to be acting in bad faith. You can hold your insurer accountable, but it typically requires the assistance of a skilled Mississippi bad faith or unfair claims practices lawyer. At Germany Law Firm PLLC, our attorney has more than 40 years of personal injury law experience and has successfully represented countless clients who have been victimized by their insurance company’s bad faith practices We can help you, too.
Examples Of Bad Faith Practices
Regrettably, there are examples of bad faith practices in most insurance fields. The most prevalent causes of insurance bad faith claims include, but are not limited to:
- Life Insurance: The insurance provider declines to pay full policy benefits after a loved one dies. This is particularly true with claims under “burial policies,” which are intended to give enough benefits to manage your family member’s funeral. It also pertains to claims wherein the insured party passes away within a two-year span of purchasing the policy, which, under Mississippi law, is known as the “contestability period.”
- Fire Insurance: The insurance provider declines to pay full policy benefits for damages resulting from a fire. Usually, the insurance provider will claim the fire was started by arson. This argument, however, is extremely hard for insurance providers to demonstrate. Rather, the insurance provider will likely stall the claim for a span of several months and continue demanding that the policyholder give ever-increasing amounts of financial and personal information, with the belief that the policyholder will ultimately give up and decline to give the provider any further information. At that point, the insurance provider turns down the claim for the policyholder’s supposed “failure to cooperate.”
- Homeowner’s Insurance: The majority of homeowner’s policies in the state of Mississippi are what are known as “all-risk” policies. This means that they offer coverage for any “direct physical loss” to the house. To circumvent coverage for any “direct physical loss” under this kind of insurance policy, the insurance provider has to establish that an exclusion pertains to the loss. If the cause of the loss is wholly unknown, then it will be covered. A lot of the time, particularly with claims that involve tornado or hurricane damage, or for claims concerning water damage, insurance providers deny these claims without ever showing that the damage was created by an excluded risk. On occasion, they will even use paid “experts” to misrepresent the truth concerning the actual cause of the loss.
- Health Insurance: The insurance provider declines to pay full policy benefits for medical bills or declines to pre-approve specific medical services that should be covered by the insurance policy.
- Automobile / Uninsured Motorist Coverage: The insurance provider declines to pay full policy benefits for damages to your car or injuries that you sustained because of another motorist’s carelessness, especially in cases where the other motorist was uninsured or did not have adequate insurance to manage your injuries when those losses should have, in fact, been covered under the insurance policy.
- Disability Benefits: The insurance provider declines to pay or stops providing disability benefits, despite the fact that you are handicapped and cannot go back to work.
If you have filed an insurance claim in Mississippi for personal property damage, car damage from an auto accident, damage to your home, condo, or rental property, or property damage arising from a natural disaster or other catastrophic accident, your insurance company is required by law to act in good faith.
Filing An Insurance Bad Faith Claim In Mississippi
Mississippi typically has three tiers of claims in the event that insurance is at issue:
(1) mere breach of contract, allowing recovery of contract damages;
(2) breach of contract and no arguable basis for breach, which entitles recovery of consequential damages; and
(3) breach of contract, no arguable basis for breach, and malice/gross disregard for the rights of the insured, which entitles the recovery of punitive damages.
All contracts, which include insurance policies, come with an assumed agreement of “good faith and fair dealing.” Regrettably, Mississippi’s state legislature has not enacted an official Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act, unlike most other states have seen fit to do. As a result, they have not codified via written legislation that “common law” can establish violations of the duty of good faith and fair dealing.
Insurance policyholders are often presented with a number of obstacles when they are forced to challenge the insurance companies. When you hire our firm, you can feel comfortable knowing that attorney Bob Germany has over four decades of personal injury law experience and will be an aggressive advocate for you. He has extensive knowledge of Mississippi laws regarding bad faith or unfair insurance claims as well as the skill and resources needed to get you the money that you are entitled to.
Our firm has filed claims on behalf of the following type of property owners:
- Residential and commercial property tenants
- Apartment building property owners
- Residential homeowners
- Condominium owner associations
- Churches and nonprofits
- Business owners
- Industrial property owners
Several of the claims that we’ve handled through the more than 40 years in practice have involved property damage caused by natural disasters, such as fires, floods, hurricanes, hail storms and windstorms. Whatever the cause of the damage, if you were injured, you deserve full and fast payment for your insurance claim.
Specific Allegations In A Bad Faith Claim
A vast majority of insurance companies are “for-profit” organizations that are generally focused on their bottom lines at all times. These insurance companies don’t usually make bad faith decisions deliberately. They are under immense pressure to maximize their profits. This pressure can and sometimes does result in business practices that can have adverse effects on the insurance policyholders including, but not limited to the following:
- Refusal to properly investigate a claim
- Denial of a claim payment without reasonable grounds
- Unusual or unreasonable delay in payment
- Unreasonably finding fault with a claim
- Failure to explain a claim denial
- Failure to respond to a request in a reasonable timeframe
- Hiding evidence or ignoring evidence of damage
- Harassment of a claimant
- Poor or inappropriate investigation tactics
If you filed a claim with your insurance company and you feel that your insurance company has wrongfully denied your claim, you may be entitled to file a bad faith claim. If your claim involves a payment that has been unreasonably delayed or underpaid, you may also have the right to file a bad faith claim. We will review your claim in its entirety, along with thoroughly reviewing your insurance policy in an effort to put together the strongest case possible against your insurance company.
Take Advantage Of A Free Initial Consultation About Your Legal Issue
If you feel that your insurance provider has perpetrated an act of bad faith, or even if you simply have a question regarding your rights under a particular insurance policy, contact Germany Law Firm PLLC today. We have the knowledge, the resources, time, and experience that is required to challenge these massive insurance companies contesting your claim and walk away a winner.
To discuss your options in a free consultation, call our office in Jackson at 601-812-5524, or send us a message online.