Insurance plays an important role in our society and having the right bad faith insurance attorney in Kansas City and Lee’s Summit is even more important. The average American cannot afford to pay for the most catastrophic losses that they may experience in their life. By combining with others, however, they can pay insurance premiums that distribute the risk of a catastrophic loss or liability. The primary purpose of insurance should be to pool that risk of loss and provide insurance coverage in a time of need. When they are practicing bad faith insurance tactics, it can hurt you and your family as a result.
The Bad News
The insurance industry, however, is an extremely powerful industry that is prone to the same type of corporate abuses seen in other industries. Too often insurance companies place their own economic interests above those of the policyholder. Common bad faith insurance practices include:
- conducting inadequate investigations of claims
- making “lowball” settlement offers of claims
- ignoring claims for long periods of time and refusing to communicate with the claimant
- relying on policy exclusions that were not intended to apply to the claim presented by the policyholder
- not being upfront with facts regarding coverage to deny, delay or reduce the amount of the claim
- cancellation or increase in price of a policy as a result of making a claim or an accident where insured was not at fault
- engaging in harassing or demeaning investigative methods and procedures which victimize the insured
- altering or changing the policy coverage before informing or receiving the consent of insured involved
- causing health insureds to pay a copay higher than what the cost of the prescription is to the insurer due to secretive rebate deals between insurers and drug manufacturers
This is a short list of bad faith insurance practices, contact Carey Law Firm if you suspect that you are or may be dealing with a bad faith insurer.
The Good News: Experienced Attorneys Are Ready to Assist
When your own insurance company participates in bad faith insurance practices when you make a claim for damages, it called a “vexatious refusal” to pay. Examples of vexatious refusal include refusal to pay and honor uninsured and underinsured motorist claims, refusal to pay medical benefits unless the policyholder agrees to reimburse the insurance company (for many Missouri health insurance policies), and refusal to pay life or fire and casualty claims. Missouri law provides that a policyholder who is a victim of vexatious refusal to pay can recover penalties against the insurance company and be awarded their attorney’s fees in the bad faith insurance case.
The second way to fight bad faith insurance practices is to file a bad faith insurance action. These actions apply when someone else’s insurance company treats you unfairly. If someone causes injury to you and their insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement, fails to conduct an adequate investigation, or denies coverage the insurance company’s actions may rise to the level of bad faith. These actions are very complex as the claim for bad faith cannot ordinarily be brought by the injured party. With proper planning, however, an insurance attorney can negotiate for the right to proceed against the other party’s insurance company through a R.S.Mo. 537.065 agreement or assist the other party in presenting a bad faith claim to their insurance company. A successful bad faith insurance claim may include recovery of all of the damages sustained by the injured party, attorney’s fees incurred by the policyholder, and punitive damages.
Putting Your Interests First In Kansas City
Ideally, insurance companies play a valuable role in a time of need. Too often, however, the company’s bottom line is placed above the interests of the policyholder. An insurer might be practicing bad faith insurance tactics if the insurer puts a hold on, discounts or denies payment without a reasonable basis for doing so. When this occurs, the Carey Law Firm can assist you in forcing the insurance company to live up to its obligations.
Bad Faith Insurance Attorney Serving Lee’s Summit Residents
You deserve to work with a lawyer who will fight to get you the best possible results. Carey Law Firm has helped hundreds of individuals dealing with bad faith insurance practices in the Lee’s Summit and Kansas City area and we are proud that most of our business comes from referrals. If you suffered as the result of bad faith insurance and have been searching for an experienced attorney, call us today at (816) 875-9557 or Contact Us online for assistance.