Purchasing insurance for your business is probably one of the biggest expenses you deal with. In addition to workers’ compensation insurance, you may carry property insurance, liability, vehicle insurance and others. This takes a considerable chunk out of your overhead budget, but you know that it is worth it if you should ever face a situation where you need to file a claim.
Unfortunately, not every business owner is successful when trying to obtain payment for legitimate claims to their insurers. You may be among those who are meeting with tactics and delays that seem underhanded, and you may be right. However, state and federal laws have protections in place for dealing with unfair claims practices.
Signs your insurer is treating you unfairly
You may be the victim of unfair claims practices if your insurer seems to be unnecessarily delaying the investigation or resolution of your claim. After filing a claim, you are still waiting months later to hear from your insurer. This may seem unreasonable to you. If you keep hearing excuses from your insurer or receiving repeated requests for verification of your losses, you may begin to wonder if something unethical is going on. Other signs that your insurer may be acting in bad faith include the following:
- Misrepresenting the facts about your policy coverage
- Offering a settlement that is much lower than your damage or than your policy provides
- Failing to conduct an investigation into your case before denying your claim
- Ignoring or refusing to respond to your calls or messages requesting updates on your case
You may even discover more sinister methods of avoiding paying your rightful claim. For example, it is not unheard of for unscrupulous insurers to physically alter the information on a policyholder’s application to reduce the amount of coverage you pay for.
As you can imagine, fighting these unfair practices can be extremely challenging, and it may seem like the insurer has the upper hand. However, if your insurer is violating the rights that California law protects, your situation may qualify for legal action, which, if successful, could be a big step toward achieving the just resolution you deserve. This is why many business owners who are facing unfair claims practices seek the assistance of an attorney who has experience in this complex area of law.