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Insurance Company Misconduct / Bad Faith Faq
- What is bad faith insurance? Show Answer
Generally it is when your own insurance company does not treat you as they are required to under the law that is, with good faith and fair dealing
- What obligations does my insurance company have to me when I make a claim? Show Answer
An insurance company must treat you fairly. There are many things they have to do and many other things that they are forbidden to do. We have tried to make a simplified version of the law on this subject and put it together in what we call the Policy Holder’s Bill of Rights. Some of these rights are:….
- What are some common cases of bad faith? Show Answer
Bad faith can arise in almost any situation where an insurance company treats its insured unfairly. We have been involved in cases including house fires, property damage claims to home or commercial property, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, and a variety of other contexts. There are a variety of other contexts where bad faith can arise. For example, bad faith may occur when insurance companies delay or deny payment of benefits for health insurance, disability insurance, life insurance, or long-term care insurance.
- Can an insurance company “low ball” me in settlement negotiations? Show Answer
The simple answer to this is no. While it is very common in day-to-day negotiations for one party to try and “low ball” (meaning, giving an unreasonable low offer with the hope that the other party will accept) the other party, this practice by insurance companies has been expressly forbidden by Wisconsin courts. This goes back to the fundamental problem of unequal bargaining position. Because the average consumer is in no way on equal terms with an insurance company in terms of resources and knowledge, our court’s have forbidden insurance companies from employing this strategy.
- Can an insurance company deny my claim for any reason they choose? Show Answer
No. denials must be made after your claim has been properly investigated. Insurance companies do not have to pay every claim. If your claim is debatable or questionable, the company can deny the claim. An experienced bad faith attorney can advise you on whether your claim is bad faith or not, particularly in fire loss cases.
- Can an insurance company ignore my requests for information or clarification? Show Answer
No. Your insurance company must answer you in a timely manner.
- Can an insurance company delay paying me my claim? Show Answer
No. This practice is strictly forbidden under Wisconsin law. If an insurance company delays payment owed without an acceptable reason, it is responsible for paying you interest in addition to the money owed from the claim itself. Our statutes have a provision directly on point. § 628.46 of our statutes requires insurers to pay twelve percent (12%) interest on any claim not paid within thirty (30) days after the insurer has notice of the claim and the amount due.