No matter how much we rely on insurance companies, there are plenty of reasons why they need to be watched closely. In particular, insurance companies of all kinds have been known for low-balling, delaying, or outright denying payments to people whom they are rightfully owed. Therefore, when dealing with health insurance companies, you must find a way to determine whether they're on the up and up or if they are acting in bad faith. With that in mind, here is a list of ways to know if a health insurance company is acting in bad faith.
What is Insurance Bad Faith?
For those who are yet unfamiliar, insurance bad faith is when an insurance company goes against the best interest of their policyholders and the agreements they've signed. In other words, insurance companies should be doing their best to treat their policyholders in a manner that is considered fair, reasonable, and otherwise ethical. These companies should be doing their best to investigate all claims and reward them in a manner that is fair and ethical. So, when companies fail to do so, they are acting in bad faith. Luckily, if you can prove this in a court of law, you will be eligible to receive financial compensation.
Signs Your Insurance Company Is Acting in Bad Faith?
When it comes to insurance companies acting in bad faith, there are plenty of things to consider. This is because insurance companies can be quite crafty when it comes to these shady practices. So, rather than outright telling you that they simply do not want to pay for the claim, they will use tactics that make it seem like you are not eligible or otherwise deter you from pursuing compensation. With that in mind, here is a list of signs that your insurance company is acting in bad faith.
Misrepresenting the Facts
One of the top things to be aware of when you are wondering whether or not your insurance company is acting in bad faith is that insurance companies are known for being dishonest and misrepresenting the details of your policy. In other words, insurance companies are known for lying and purposely misinterpreting the details of policies to avoid making payouts. So, if you know for a fact that you have purchased certain coverage, but your insurance company denies your claim based on the notion that you supposedly don't have the coverage, this is a major red flag.
Another telltale sign that your insurance company is acting in bad faith is that they bring in 'experts' who are biased and do not provide realistic assessments. If your insurance company seems only to use the same few people to assess cases and make suggestions, this is a major sign that they are not on the up and up. Moreover, if you offer them a neutral alternative and they flat-out refuse, this is a major sign that they may be acting in bad faith.
One major way you can tell your insurance company is acting in bad faith is that they are delaying your payment for extended periods of time. Even if you have won your case and are clearly owed money, some insurance companies will delay your payments. This often includes fast-talking and a variety of excuses that don't seem to make sense. For instance, some insurance companies delay payments based on the notion that you have not submitted sufficient proof. Nevertheless, this is often not the case, and they may even ask you to resubmit the same documents over and over. If your insurance company owes you a payment, and they seem to be delaying it for no reason, they are likely acting in bad faith.
Lack of Communication
Another major sign that your insurance company is acting in bad faith is that there is no communication. If you file a claim, there should be regular communication between you and various people affiliated with your insurance company. They should be asking questions, assessing damage, and being transparent in terms of the status of your case and when you can expect to receive payment. If this is not the case, there is likely a reason for it. Usually, they have realized that they owe you money and do not intend to pay you.
Yet another major sign that your insurance company is acting in bad faith is that they submit unfair offers. For instance, all insurance policies have specifics in terms of how much you will receive if certain situations occur. So, based on your policy limits, you should be able to have an idea of what your maximum payout will be. In extreme instances, you should obviously be receiving payments on the higher end of the spectrum. When the payout falls well below this, this is likely because your insurance company is acting in bad faith. On the other hand, if you have suffered astronomical damages and are not being offered nearly enough to fix them, this is also a sign of bad faith. Shady insurance companies are known for trying to coerce people into accepting offers that are unfair to avoid paying the amount they're supposed to pay.
Abrupt Changes of Cancellations
Lastly, abrupt changes in your policy and policy cancellations are a huge sign that your insurance company is acting in bad faith. Occasionally, when an insurance company knows they have been beaten and will have to make huge payouts, they will try to change the policy or cancel it without explanation. For instance, if you have been taking the time to submit documentation and go back and forth with your insurance company for months, and they abruptly change the limits of your policy, this is a sign that you are owed much more money than they wish to pay. Alternatively, if you have not done anything to violate your policy limits and it abruptly gets canceled, this is a major sign that your insurance company is acting in bad faith. Insurance companies cannot change your policy without your consent, and they cannot cancel your policy if you have done nothing wrong to breach it. Therefore, if an insurance company is forcing changes or cancellations after you have submitted a claim, this is a sign that they need to be investigated.
Need an Experienced Insurance Lawyer?
If you are dealing with an insurance company that you believe has been acting in bad faith, working with an experienced insurance lawyer is your best. Shady insurance companies are seasoned in the ability to delay, misrepresent facts, and do anything they can to avoid paying their customers their full reward amounts. Rather than going it alone, working with an experienced insurance lawyer is one of the best ways to make sure that you have the best chance of getting your full award amount. Better yet, an experienced company can often make it, so you are receiving payments that are larger than you expected. So, if you need help determining whether or not your insurance company is engaged in shady practices, contacting a qualified lawyer is one of the best ways to make sure you are confident in the fact that you are receiving the highest possible reward and not being taken advantage of by your insurance company.