What to Do If You Suspect An Insurer Acted in Bad Faith
State law requires that insurance companies act in good faith when investigating and settling claims. Unfortunately, many insurers deliberately delay or deny valid claims in an attempt to avoid litigation or paying a fair settlement. Proving that the insurer acted in bad faith, however, can be challenging without the help of an attorney.
At Conner, Marr & Pinski, we represent individuals who have had their valid insurance claims denied or their settlements delayed. We are experienced trial lawyers that will not stop until the insurer is held accountable for their wrongdoing. Insurance companies that deny legitimate claims must be stopped. If you believe that your case was denied in bad faith, contact our office to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.
Proving Bad Faith Insurance in Montana
State law prohibits insurers from acting in bad faith. According to the Unfair Claims Settlement Act (Section 33-18-201 of the Montana Code), it is unlawful for an insurer to misrepresent facts, fail to promptly investigate claims, or refuse to pay claims without a reasonable investigation. A lawyer can help determine whether the insurer acted in bad faith or was reasonable in their denial or delay of the claim.
Under the Unfair Claims Settlement Act, an insurer is prohibited from:
- Misrepresenting pertinent facts or insurance provisions;
- Failing to acknowledge or act within a reasonable amount of time to communicate about a claim;
- Failing to have reasonable standards in regard to investigating claims;
- Refusing to pay claims without an investigation;
- Failing to affirm or deny coverage within a reasonable amount of time;
- Not attempting to pay “prompt, fair and equitable settlements” where liability is clear;
- Attempting to settle claims for less than a reasonable amount; and
- Unreasonably delaying an investigation or payment.
These are only a few of the reasons that an insurance company may be found to have violated the Unfair Claims Settlement Act. If it is determined that the insurance company acted in bad faith, you may be entitled to compensation.
Do I Need an Attorney?
It is generally in your best interest to retain an attorney as early in the process as possible. An attorney can help you understand whether you have a valid claim for damages and if you should pursue a lawsuit. Insurance claims are less likely to be denied or delayed when there is an attorney involved.
If your case was rejected, delayed, or otherwise obstructed by an insurance company, an attorney can help to hold them accountable. They will investigate the claim to see whether the actions taken by the insurer were reasonable under the circumstances. It may be important to subpoena evidence in a bad faith insurance case, including internal communications and the company’s written policies and procedures.
Was Your Claim Rejected in Bad Faith? Contact Our Office.
If you believe that your claim was rejected in bad faith, contact our office. Our lawyers will review your case to determine whether the insurance company has the right to delay or deny your claim. If your claim was unreasonably delayed or denied, our firm can help ensure that the insurer is held legally responsible for your damages. Do not settle for less than your case is worth.