People are generally trusting until they’re shown why they have a reason not to be. That’s why you place your faith in your insurance company when you first take out a policy. They explained all of the benefits your policy will provide you as long as you diligently make your payments. You hold up your end year after year assuming they’ll be there for you if you need them. Then the day comes and you find out there are more policy loopholes and games designed to avoid payment.
These insurers know they are acting in bad faith and just hope that the odds are in their favor that if they move swiftly and overwhelm you just enough, that you’ll give up and be on your merry way. They need you to feel exasperated and defeated so that you won’t have the energy to protect yourself, much less start the process of finding an experienced insurance dispute lawyer you can trust to do the fighting for you.
Bad faith red flags that signal that you need an attorney
- Mentioning they need to schedule a recorded statement. Adjusters may come off as friendly and conversational in the beginning of the claims process. They are trying to develop a rapport with you to help soften their attempted blows to your claim that are sure to follow. One of those blows will casually come in the form of asking you to tell them your side of the story on a recorded line. You may feel like this is the moment you’ve been waiting for because they’ll have all of the facts when in reality they intend to pick apart your statements and parse your words to find something that will allow them to void your policy or provide partial coverage. Even the most benign responses can ruin your claim.
- Requesting you sign a HIPAA authorization to obtain your medical records. If you were hurt during the loss-triggering event, at some point you’ll receive a phone call or maybe receive an email or letter enclosing a medical release. It’ll all be framed to look like it’s standard procedure, and it is -for the insurance company. It should not be something you automatically sign and return. Your medical records can provide the adjuster personal information that can be used to find reasons to pawn off your injuries on a pre-existing condition just like they can try to claim property damages were incurred in a prior incident to deny your claim.
- Misrepresentation of your coverage to minimize your claim payout. Having a full understanding of all of the available coverage your policy has to offer can feel like you’re reading a foreign language. An adjuster may see an opportunity to mislead you as to the various benefits and maximum payout limits you should receive, which would automatically save the insurance company money.
- Surveilling your daily life. The insurance company has various avenues they can use when trying to limit their liability under your policy. Every one of these tactics is geared toward putting the blame on you or anything else that gives them an “out” when it comes to paying what you’re rightfully entitled to under your policy. One way of accomplishing this is by sending investigators out to take video and photographs of the damage you’ve reported, and to watch you and your family to see if they can attribute your claim to any wrongdoing on your part. Maybe your gas grill is dangerously close to your home that burned down. It could be enough to cause your claim to be denied without an attorney guiding you through the process.
- Making you believe they’re in your corner. An insurance claims adjuster may suggest that retaining a lawyer is unnecessary because your claim is straight forward and should settle quickly. The moment your policy kicks in, it places you and the insurance company in direct conflict because you have different agendas. Adjusters have one job; to save the insurance carrier money so they benefit by settling before you realize your claim is worth more. Annual bonuses and career advancement can hinge on it so you can bank on the fact that the only interest the adjuster is looking out for is his or her own.
You laid all of your cards on the table when you completed your application and signed your insurance policy, but the insurance company doesn’t always behave in kind. If the claims process seems incredibly smooth, you may have gotten lucky, or you may be getting taken for a ride. Only a savvy insurance dispute attorney like those you’ll encounter at Warhurst Law will know for sure.
If you need help with an insurance dispute in the Florida Panhandle, Alabama, the Gulf Coast, or Louisiana, schedule your free consultation now by calling our Mobile office at 251-207-1296, or reach out to us through our contact page.
At Warhurst Law, we understand the immediacy of your situation. We also understand that insurance companies aren’t looking out for your best interests; they’re looking out for their bottom lines. Whether you’ve lost a building in Hurricane Michael or saw your home destroyed by a tornado or wildfire, or suffered life-altering injuries in a car wreck, Warhurst Law wants to help you get the compensation you need, so you can get back to your life.