San Diego, CA Insurance Bad Faith Lawyers
San Diego individuals and businesses get insurance policies for a reason: to be protected when the unfortunate – or disaster – occurs.
Whether your policy is for car, health, disability, business, homeowner’s, property, title, or life insurance, your insurance company must abide by the terms of the agreement and — even further — not act unreasonably, or what the law calls “in bad faith.”
California insurance bad faith law requires insurance companies to discharge their duties under the policy fairly and reasonably. Insurance companies cannot do anything that will injure your right to receive policy benefits in a timely manner.
What is Insurance Bad Faith in California?
The insurance company must administer policy benefits reasonably – in California, this means it must:
- Promptly, thoroughly, and objectively investigate and process claims
- Interpret claims with appropriate facts, standards, and personnel
- Advise you of your rights and obligations under the policy
- Not pressure you to accept less than due on a claim
- Not misrepresent coverage or threaten to rescind policy
- Not arbitrarily cut-off benefits
- Not unreasonably deny claims
- Not “post-claim underwrite” in certain policies
This list is not exhaustive of the potential areas an insurer may act unreasonably. And, any determination of bad faith is based on the specific facts and circumstances of your case, so a lawyer’s evaluation is crucial.
For liability insurance policies (i.e., those that should protect you from third party lawsuits), the insurance company must:
- Provide a defense if coverage exists, or even possibly exists
- Attempt to reasonably settle demands or lawsuits
Monetary Damages May Exceed Insurance Claim
Insurance companies take bad faith claims seriously because California law may allow for policyholders to recoup punitive damages, emotional distress damages, and attorney fees.
Finding a San Diego Insurance Bad Faith Lawyer
What is unreasonable is a factual and legal question, which generally requires a lawyer’s analysis.
At Stokes O’Brien, our San Diego insurance attorneys aggressively handle cases where insurance companies have not dealt with policyholders fairly and reasonably or where they have only looked after their own financial interests. Policyholders should not let insurance companies give them the runaround when they really need their policy benefits, such as payment of a claim or defense from another person’s lawsuit. The last thing one needs when looking for proper coverage is delays, out-of-pocket costs, and/or more distress.
Contact us at our San Diego offices at 619.535.5151. We offer a free case evaluation and will let you know immediately how we can help.