What you’ll learn reading this article:
- Indiana requires that insurance companies act in good faith.
- You may have a legal case against an insurance company that fails to meet this standard.
- Your bad faith claim could be worth even more than the insurance claim, but you’ll need the help of an attorney who handles these types of cases.
People pay for insurance with the expectation that the insurance company will pay up when the time comes. But what happens if you make an insurance claim and the company refuses to pay? What if they cause never-ending delays or outright ignore you?
This is where Indiana’s duty of good faith comes in. It’s a legal concept from a 1993 Indiana Supreme Court ruling that says insurance companies have an implied duty to act with good faith and fair dealing.
You are Not Powerless Against the Insurance Company
If an insurance company wrongfully denies your claim or willfully slows down the claims process so it grinds to a halt, they may be acting in bad faith. They’re trying to wear you down so much, they can avoid making you an offer and paying your claim.
The insurance company might be hoping you’ll get frustrated, give up, and go away. But you’re not powerless in this situation. Indiana’s duty of good faith gives you a legal option.
You can make an insurance bad faith claim against the insurance company with the help of an experienced lawyer. Depending on what happened and how flagrantly the insurance company acted in bad faith, you may have a valuable claim.
Making a Strong Case for Insurance Bad Faith
You have the right to question an insurance denial and to question an insurance company about outrageously slow claims processes. You also have the right to hold them to the promises they made in your policy.
To prove bad faith, you’ll have to show you had an active policy with the insurance company and were fully up-to-date on your payments. You’ll need to provide a copy of the policy showing you should have been covered for the event in question.
You’ll also need to spell out exactly how the company acted in bad faith. Here are some examples of potential bad faith violations:
- Outright refusal to respond to communications
- Failure to investigate a claim
- Failure to process a claim in a timely fashion
- Providing dead weblinks and nonfunctional web forms
- Issuing delays without explanation
- Denial without explanation
- Challenging insured party to sue
What You Could Win in a Bad Faith Case
Hoosiers have won large judgments against insurance companies that act in bad faith. In fact, your bad faith claim could be even more valuable than the face value of the insurance policy itself.
For example, imagine that you’re a retail store owner and your building is severely smoke-damaged due to a sudden electrical fire in the wall wiring. You make an insurance claim but the company delays your claim for months and ultimately denies it without explanation.
In this case, you may have a claim for your loss of equipment due to smoke damage, plus the large loss of business you suffered due to the insurance company’s failure to act in a timely fashion. You may even have a case for punitive damages, which are sometimes awarded in Indiana to punish Insurance companies that egregiously break the law.
On top of everything else, you may be able to draw the attention of Indiana authorities who regulate violations under The Unfair or Deceptive Acts and Practices Chapter of the state code. Insurance companies are subject to civil penalties of up to $25,000 per violation – and while you can’t claim that money, it sure feels good to know they had to pay a fine.
If you’re tired of being stonewalled by an insurance company that’s acting in bad faith, contact Poynter & Bucheri Accident Recovery. We can help you make a case that could finally compensate you for the losses you’ve suffered.
Poynter & Bucheri Accident Recovery – Indianapolis Personal Injury Attorneys
If you or a loved one has been injured physically or mentally by a person, product, or company, you need to know your legal rights. Our personal injury attorneys are experienced with cases like yours and can evaluate what your case may be worth. We will ensure that you are protected and compensated for your injuries and losses. Don’t hesitate – one of our experienced attorneys can assist you right away. Call 1-800-265-9881 for a free case review.