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“Bad Faith” Frequently Asked Questions: Remedies for Wrongful Denials or Delays in Paying First-Party Claims

When your company has suffered significant damage, either due to a natural disaster or less obvious sources of harm, such as damage to intangible property, you expect your insurance company to pay for your covered losses in a timely manner. However, insurance companies are not always quick to approve claims and may outright deny a claim you believe to be valid. In these cases, don’t give the insurance company the last word on whether or not your claim is valid.  Consult with an attorney who can advise you as to whether your claim has been wrongfully denied and what your remedies for that denial might be under the circumstances.

The following are some of the questions The Law Offices of Orin H. Lewis, PLLC, frequently encounters when it comes to issues involving insurance bad faith. It is important to keep in mind that everyone’s situation is unique, and nothing can replace the advice you receive from meeting one-on-one with a qualified lawyer. To schedule a consultation with attorney Orin H. Lewis, call 713 423 6772.

Could I have remedies for a wrongfully denied claim besides payment? Yes. Many jurisdictions, including Texas, provide for prompt payment penalties and attorney’s fees in the event that an insurance company wrongfully denies certain first-party claims.  Depending on the circumstances and the jurisdiction whose law is to be applied, additional remedies such as trebled damages or exemplary damages may also be available.

Could I have any additional remedies for a delayed payment? Yes. Many jurisdictions, such as Texas, provide specific deadlines by which an insurance company must take certain action with respect to the claim.  The failure to adhere to these deadlines may expose the insurance company to prompt payment penalties and attorney’s fees if needed to secure payment.   The failure to affirm or deny coverage within a reasonable time may also be an unfair settlement practice exposing the insurance company to liability for other statutory and common law remedies.

My insurance company offered me far less than what my claim is worth. Any remedies for that kind of “bad faith” conduct? Yes. Legitimate disputes can arise between an insurance company an insured over the amount of a covered loss.  However, applicable law typically does not permit an insurance company to take advantage by withholding payment for a claim for which its liability has become reasonably clear either to negotiate a reduction of the amount it has to pay for that undisputed loss or as a bargaining chip to settle other disputed losses.

Contact the Firm for Answers to Your Questions

If you believe you are the victim of wrongful delays, denials, or other improper “bad faith” conduct, contact The Law Offices of Orin H. Lewis, PLLC. Call 713 423 6772 or complete the online contact form to schedule a consultation. Headquartered in Houston, the firm represents companies across Texas and throughout the United States.