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.