Insurance Disputes and Bad Faith Claims
Your Insurance Company Is Required to Respond to Your Claims in Good Faith.
If your insurance company has wrongfully denied what you believe to be a significant and valid claim, you may have a bad faith claim against your insurance company. Your policy of insurance provides you with certain rights, and if you believe your insurance company has not honored your rights under your policy of insurance, you should consult with an experienced attorney who knows how to handle claims for bad faith and wrongful denial of insurance claims. An insurance policy is a contract between the insurance company and its insured and this contract must be honored in “good faith”. This obligation of good faith means an insurance company must take all reasonable steps to fully investigate a claim and consider all the circumstances supporting the claim. The law also imposes certain obligations on insurance companies to complete investigations in a timely manner and to respond to requests and communications from the insured in a timely manner. You can find more information on the obligations that the Washington State Insurance Commissioner has imposed on insurance companies through regulations, at http://apps.leg.wa.gov/wac/default.aspx?cite=284.
Sometimes, an insurance company will refuse to pay a claim that clearly should be paid, in the hope that the insured will give up and choose not to fight the decision. Most insurance policies are very complex and confusing documents that are challenging for the average person to understand. It is common that a consumer will not know what is or is not covered under their insurance policy. My office can help review your insurance policy, explain what claims should be covered, and help you determine whether you may have a claim for bad faith against your insurance company. For a free initial consultation and case evaluation with an experienced attorney in Seattle who handles insurance bad faith claims, please contact me.
Voters in Washington recently approved the “Insurance Fair Conduct Act” in RCW 48.30.015 - Unreasonable denial of a claim for coverage or payment of benefits, which provides consumers with tools that can help recover payment on insurance claims and also ensure the fair and reasonable investigation of all claims. It also provides that the insurance company may be required to pay your attorney fees if it is determined that the insurance company has unreasonably denied the claim.
Your insurance policy may impose certain deadlines for you to make a claim and your failure to file a claim in a timely manner could result in your claim being barred. Washington State also has statutes of limitation that impose additional time constraints on when you have to file a lawsuit against your insurance company. As a result, it is important to act promptly if you have a dispute with your insurance company by consulting with an experienced attorney who can help you determine whether you have a claim, advise you on how to best pursue your claim, and help you protect your rights. If you have a valid claim under your insurance policy that has been wrongfully denied in bad faith, I will help you hold your insurance companies responsible and help you protect your rights. For a free initial consultation and case evaluation with an experienced attorney in Seattle who handles insurance bad faith claims, please contact me.