Bad Faith Insurance Practices in Texas
Insurance companies have a right to investigate hurricane insurance claims made by homeowners and businesses. However, when their treatment of a claim becomes unfair and unreasonable, their conduct may cross a legal line and become a "bad faith" or "unfair" insurance practice that is prohibited by state laws. Arnold & Itkin is experienced in holding insurance companies accountable for their unethical or illegal conduct and in obtaining successful verdicts and settlements on behalf of those throughout Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida who have been harmed by their insurer's unfair practices. Allow us to put our skills, expertise, and resources to work for you.
Unfair Insurance Practices
A person may bring suit against an insurer who has caused him or her actual damages by engaging in unfair or deceptive acts or practice. For example, the Gulf Coast has been hit hard by hurricanes and tropical storms in recent years. Due to the volume of claims being filed by homeowners and businesses, insurance companies have seen their profit margins take a hit as well. Facing the pressure to reduce their losses, some insurers and their agents, brokers, and adjusters have turned to prohibited practices to save their money.
Such unfair practices include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Misrepresenting a material fact or policy provision relating to coverage
- Failing to make prompt, fair, and equitable settlement of a claim after the insurer's liability is established
- Failing to promptly and fairly settle one portion of a claim to influence the settlement of an additional claim
- Failing to promptly provide a reasonable explanation of the basis for a claim denial or offered compromise
- Failing to affirm or deny coverage of a claim within a reasonable time
- Attempting to enforce a full and final release of a claim when only a partial payment has been made
- Refusing to pay a claim without conducting a reasonable investigation
- Delaying a claim solely because there is other insurance available
- Requiring a claimant, as a condition of settlement, provide federal income tax returns for examination or investigation unless claimant is court-ordered, claim involve fire loss, or claim involves lost profits / income
Bad Faith Insurance Claims
Insurance companies that unreasonably deny claim coverage are acting in bad faith. Not every denied insurance claim is bad faith, but if you have been denied coverage or have been offered a reduced settlement without a proper explanation, you may be entitled to bring a bad faith insurance claim against your insurance carrier.
Examples of bad faith insurance practices include:
- Unwarranted denial of coverage
- Failure to communicate pertinent information
- Refusal to pay the claim without an investigation
- Failure to conduct a reasonable investigation
- Failure to deny or pay the claim within a reasonable period of time
- Failure to confirm or deny coverage within a reasonable period of time
- Failure to attempt to come to a fair and reasonable settlement when liability is apparent
- Offering a settlement substantially smaller than the true value of the claim
- Failure to promptly provide a reasonable explanation for claim denials
- Failure to enter into settlement negotiations
- Failure to respond to a time-limit demand
- Failure to disclose policy limits and/or exclusions
Contact a lawyer from our firm!
If you are a business or homeowner who has suffered hardship as the result of an insurance company's unfair or deceptive practices, contact the Houston-based hurricane insurance lawyers at Arnold & Itkin LLP to learn more about your options. We know the deceptive tactics that insurance companies will sometimes utilize and we are dedicated to doing everything that we can to helping our clients obtain the just outcome that they truly deserve. You can be confident knowing that should you choose to work with us that we will do everything possible to provide our clients with the high-quality level of service that they deserve.