What is Bad Faith?
If you have insurance, you should be able to trust that if a claim arises, your insurance company will treat you fairly and pay your claim promptly. As Arizona bad faith insurance lawyers, we represent clients who have been treated unfairly by insurance companies when the insurance companies refuse to pay our clients’ legitimate cliams.
Under Arizona law, when your insurance company receives your claim, it has a duty to evaluate the claim fairly and to give your interests the same consideration that it gives its own interests when making a determination regarding its duties under the contract of insurance. In most cases, insurance companies will act appropriately. However, this is not always the case.
Because it’s in the best interests of the insurance company to deny claims and avoid a monetary payout, insurance companies sometimes deny legitimate claims. They also sometimes make unreasonably low payment offers when they owe much more. Sometimes these “low-ball” offers are made if the insurance company believes its insured has no other choice but to accept the offer.
When Can a Bad Faith Claim Be Brought Against an Insurance Company?
When an insurance company refuses to comply with its obligations under the law, or when it fails to pay the amount that it legitimately owes, a claim of bad faith may be brought.
A bad faith claim is separate and apart from the underlying amount that an insurance company owes under the contract of insurance. A bad faith claim is based on a separate legal action against an insurance company arising out of its failure to treat a person fairly, and is designed to punish the insurance company for its wrongful actions by allowing those who have been hurt by the insurance company to receive substantial damages.
Arizona law recognizes that if this punishment did not exist, insurance companies would have an incentive to wrongfully deny claims. In an insurance bad faith claim, juries are vested with the right to determine how large damages may be in the case of bad faith. Typically, the more egregious the conduct, the larger the award will be. As a general matter, juries want to send a message to insurance companies who engage in bad faith that such conduct is unacceptable.
If You Have Been Treated Wrongly By An Arizona Insurance Company, Please Call Our Firm to Learn if You May Have a Bad Faith Claim.
We would look forward to having the opportunity to meet with you and learn about your insurance claim and how you were treated. When we learn about the facts and circumstances of your case, we can advise you if we believe that a claim for bad faith exists against the insurance company.