What Should I Do if I Think My Insurance Company Is Acting in Bad Faith?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Aug 5, 2019

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The most important thing you can do if you suspect your insurance company is acting in bad faith is to contact an experienced bad faith insurance attorney who can help you fight a bad faith insurance company. You may also file a written complaint with your state Department of Insurance; sometimes the Department may be able to help you fight a bad faith insurance company (some state DOIs may also make this available online).

You need to remember to “get it in writing” and/or “put it in writing”. Phone calls work for quick contacts or easy answers (such as, yes, we received your claim’ or ‘yes, your premiums are current’), but you should always put it in writing. Better yet, get the company to send you written confirmation, by email, fax, or regular mail. This should include not only the claim itself (generally a specific requirement under most policies), but also all contacts with the insurance company, with the name of the person you spoke with and the time. Having all this information in writing will be very helpful if you decide to fight the insurance company.

Know who the claim adjuster is and correspond with that person in writing. Ask who the claim adjuster’s supervisor is and send the supervisor, a detailed and direct letter (but be polite). You might copy the “President of the Company” on your letter, but that probably won’t do much, copying the “Claim Supervisor” or “Senior Benefit Analyst” on your contacts with the first-line claim adjuster might get you more attention.

If you speak by phone with someone at the insurance company, make a written note of it and keep it in a separate file. If someone is rude to you, make a note of what that person said and, the name, and date the note. WRITE IT DOWN.

If all these efforts fail, you should contact a bad faith insurance lawyer who is experienced in fighting insurance bad faith claims.

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