First Party Insurance Claims FAQs
Who Can File a First Party Insurance Dispute?
The insured individual and / or a named or intended beneficiary can sue an insurance company for bad faith practices. If you need counsel regarding how to file a dispute, Arnold & Itkin can help.
I Haven’t Made a Payment on a New Policy Yet. Can I Still File a Claim?
Once an insurance contract is in effect, the insurer must accept and cover legitimate claims. Prior to making a first payment, some bills and expenses may be excluded, depending on the terms of the policy, but that should not keep you from filing. You can have a lawyer review your policy if you have questions or concerns.
I Didn't Get a Rejection Letter for Months. Is that Bad Faith?
In most cases, insurers must respond within 15 business days, informing you whether your claim has been accepted or denied. Unless the insurer has requested an extension to review the claim, and informed you, the long delay is not allowed. It may be considered bad faith, allowing you to take legal action in response of such actions.
What Evidence Do I Need to Sue My Insurance Company for Bad Faith?
In order to prove that an insurance company has acted in bad faith, you must be able to show:
- The insurance policy was valid and paid in full at the time of the loss for which you are filing a claim;
- The insured party was in compliance with the terms of the policy; and
- The insurance company breached the terms of the contract by delaying / failing to make payment.
Most insurance companies retain serious legal counsel right away, so the sooner you secure representation, the better for your case. Our lawyers can help you fight to hold insurance companies accountable for their bad faith practices.
What Are My Rights If My Claim Isn't Paid on Time?
Insurance companies must respond to claims within a certain time period. If your insurance company does not respond in a timely manner or does not pay your valid claim, you can sue. If the court finds that your insurer failed to meet its obligations, you can file for damages above and beyond your policy's limits.
My Claim Wasn’t Denied, But I Think I Was Underpaid. What Can I Do?
Sadly, insurance companies often try to underpay claims because they know they can get away with it when a policy holder isn’t aware of their rights. This can be considered bad faith if the insurance company fails to pay what they owe to an insured and breaches their agreement.
What Are Common Bad Faith Insurance Practices?
One of the key ways to know that your rights have been violated by an insurance company is to actually know your rights. Understanding what are considered bad faith insurance practices can help you quickly take legal action if you have been mistreated. Some of the most common types of unlawful insurance practices include intentionally misrepresenting policy provisions, failing to respond to claims in an adequate timeframe, performing inadequate claim investigations, and underpaying or denying valid claims.
How Can I Afford an Attorney if My Claim Hasn't Been Paid?
Insurance companies often count on the fact that delaying or denying payment of claims will limit the insured party's ability to pursue a legal remedy. At Arnold & Itkin, we understand that injured parties may be short on funds. For that reason, we work on a contingency basis—our clients don't pay a penny unless we are successful in recovering compensation on their behalf. This gives you 100% peace of mind and assurance when you call on us.
What Type of Damages Can I Recover?
In bad faith claims, there are specific damages that may be made available to individuals who have been victims of unlawful insurance practices. The three primary categories of recoverable damages include contract damages, extra-contractual compensatory damages, and punitive damages. Contract damages refer to the benefits you were owed under your policy, while extra-contractual damages refer to additional compensation based on the insurer’s tortious actions. This may include emotional distress and economic loss suffered by the insured while waiting for the claim to be resolved (such as attorney’s fees). Lastly are punitive damages, which are awarded to punish the insurance company for their unlawful actions, aiming to curb such actions in the future.