You pay your insurance premiums in good faith — often for years. You should be able to rely on your insurance company’s promises to pay your benefits if and when you actually need them.
The great majority of people who pay premiums for disability policies hope and expect that they will never actually need the insurance. Even in the case of medical insurance, you hope that you will not have to use it or use it only sparingly. In the unlikely and usually unforeseen event of a serious illness or injury, the insurance company should honor its promise and live up to its commitment to provide essential benefits. All too often, the insurance company will not.
An Insurance Company Must Fully And Fairly Investigate Your Claim
Under California law, an insurance company acts unreasonably — and, therefore, in bad faith — if it fails to thoroughly and fairly investigate the claim. As the California Supreme Court stated in the landmark case of Egan v. Mutual of Omaha Insurance Co. (1979) 24 Cal.3d 809:
“To protect [an insured’s] interests it is essential that an insurer fully inquire into possible bases that might support the insured’s claim… an insurer cannot reasonably and in good faith deny payments to its insured without thoroughly investigating the foundation for its denial.”
Unfortunately, many insurance companies either fail to investigate the claim or attempt to elicit only information that might conceivably be packaged to support a denial.
An Insurance Company Cannot Disregard Evidence That Supports Your Claim
An insurance company acts unreasonably — and, therefore, in bad faith — when it ignores evidence that supports the insured’s claim. As the California appellate court stated in Mariscal v. Old Republic Life Ins. Co. (1996) 42 Cal. App.4th 1617:
“An insurance company may not ignore evidence which supports coverage. If it does so, it acts unreasonably towards its insured and breaches the covenant of good faith and fair dealing.”
Unfortunately, when provided evidence that clearly supports the claim, many insurance companies try to develop all sorts of reasons to disregard or diminish that evidence.
If you feel your insurer has acted in bad faith in handling your claim, you should contact an experienced insurance lawyer who understands your legal rights, can help you understand your rights and, if necessary, help you recover your rightful benefits.
The Law Offices of Bennett M. Cohen focuses on insurance bad faith claims throughout the Bay Area and California. We understand the laws and regulations that protect your insurance claim and have the skills, resources, experience and motivation to effectively fight to protect your legal rights.
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Insurance Bad Faith Claims In California
We handle a broad range of insurance bad faith claims, including:
- Denied claims – If your claim is denied, contact our insurance attorney so we can take legal action and recover the benefits you deserve.
- Delayed claims – If your payment is delayed or paid under a reservation of rights, contact one of our insurance law experts to learn what your rights are.
- Disability Insurance claims: If you have not received your rightful disability benefits or feel you have been underpaid, contact us right away to recover the full amount of your rightful benefits.
Bennett M. Cohen has handled complaints against most of the major insurers. He is familiar with insurance companies, adjusters, and claims representatives, and understands their internal procedures. Through this knowledge and background, Cohen is able to determine the ideal way to handle your particular bad faith claim and, ultimately, recover your benefits.
Contact The Law Offices Of Bennett M. Cohen
We offer free initial consultations. Please contact us or complete the online form to speak with an attorney experienced in insurance bad faith.