A hailstorm damaged your home’s roof? You contact your insurance. Had a fender bender on the way to work? You contact your insurance. Your basement flooded and the floor is ruined? You contact your insurance. Injured during the family football game? You go to the doctor and they contact your insurance. When something unexpected – and expensive – happens, the majority people rely on their insurance to cover it. That’s why we have it, right?  When a person purchases an insurance policy, a contract is made, which, by its unique nature, creates a duty that the insurance act in good faith and fair dealing with the insured when acting within the contract. This means that when a covered incident occurs, the insurance must consider the insured’s interests at and deal fairly with the insured when a claim is made. In Colorado, when insurance companies act in bad faith, the insured has a tort claim against the company. Below are three signs that an insurance company may be acting in bad faith:  Unreasonable delay in communication regarding claim Not all delays in communication are an unreasonable delay. Insurance companies are busy, especially when hazardous events caused damage to a large area. It’s not uncommon for it to take a few days or even weeks to complete an investigation into a claim, especially if a large hailstorm damaged the roofs of every house in a 5-mile radius.  Unreasonable delays are determined based on a variety of facts, but if you feel like your insurance company repeatedly puts off getting back to you, it may be beneficial to get in contact with an attorney or even file a complaint with the Colorado Division of Insurance Unreasonable delay in payment As with unreasonable delays in communication, not all delays in payment are unreasonable. Depending on circumstances, it may take more time to process payments. Usually, upon acceptance of a claim, your insurance representative will give you a time from to expect payment. Additionally, time frames are sometimes specified in the insurance policy.  If you haven’t received payment within the designated time frame, it’s a sign of unreasonable payment. If your insurance company is unable to give you a valid reason for the delay, it may be a good time to get advice from an attorney. Failure to provide reasons for why your claim was denied It is well within an insurance companies’ rights to deny claims that don’t fall within your specific policy. However, you, as the insured, are entitled to know why your claim was denied. If an insurance company denies your claim and fails to respond to your request to know the reason for the denial, it’s a sign your insurance company is not dealing with you fairly.  Overall, insurance companies do their jobs and treat customers fairly, but if you notice any of these signs, it’s possible that you may have you’ve been dealt with unfairly and have a claim for recourse.

Almost everyone knows the feeling of getting in a car accident. The spike in adrenaline, the knot in your stomach, and the way your breath seems to get caught in your chest as you try to make sure everyone involved is okay. The truth is, no matter who was at fault or how minor the accident, car accidents can be scary, and they often times leave people shaken up.  At the end of the day, however, drivers feel a sense of security knowing that when accidents come up, insurance will cover the costs of damages and any medical attention that may be needed as a result of an accident. That safety net is extremely important when you consider that the Colorado Department of Transportation recently reported distracted drivers alone cause 43 accidents per day.  In an accident, the party at fault, or their insurance, should pay for the damages. But what happens when there’s an accident and the person at fault doesn’t have insurance? That’s where Uninsured (or even underinsured) Motorist coverage (UM) comes in. UM will protect you in the unfortunate cases where the at fault motorist either does not have insurance or does not have enough insurance coverage to pay for the damages. And yes, it is illegal to drive in Colorado without car insurance. However, despite the strict fines and punishments, 13% of drivers in the United States still choose to drive without insurance. That’s over 1 in 8 drivers, or about 5 drivers out of 43. UM coverage will protect you in those 5 out of 43 cases. It can also help protect you when an at fault motorist is underinsured. For example, the minimum coverage in Colorado is currently $25,000 per person for bodily injury. If an accident causes $40,000 in medical damages and the at fault motorist only has the minimum required coverage, UM coverage can help bridge the gap between what the liable insurance company will pay and doctor bills. In some cases, UM coverage may even cover lost wages due to an accident. The coverage may even kick in in the occurrence of a hit and run accident if the motorist cannot be found.  Unfortunately, car accidents are an everyday risk, but Uninsured Motorist coverage can give you confidence that your financial interests are protected.