Sadly but true, insurance companies take an inordinate amount of our money and then refuse to recover our damages; or are trying to stall for time to reduce the size of an insurance claim.
This and many other unfair and illicit practices violate laws of Fair Claims Settlement Practices Regulations in Riverside and elsewhere in California. Our unfair insurance claim practice attorney here at the Law Offices of Howard Craig Kornberg explains what constitutes illegal practices on the part of your insurer.
What are unfair insurance claim practices in California?
Fact: During the year 2016, 91.2% of Americans had health insurance coverage.
At least once in their lifetime, Americans fall prey to unfair and illegal practices by insurance companies. Unfortunately, more often than not, people in the U.S. are unaware of what constitutes violations of Californian law on the part of insurance companies, which is why so many insurers get away with unfair claim practices.
Today, we asked our experienced unfair insurance claim practice lawyer to spell out what unfair insurance claim practices are most commonly encountered in Riverside and elsewhere in California:
Misrepresentation or alteration
- Misrepresenting facts or policy provisions regarding your insurance claim (reducing the cost of coverage when you are inattentive and easily influenced)
- Altering policies without notifying you or asking your permission, and then settling a claim based on the altered policies (reducing limits for coverage without your consent)
- Settling claims for less than you expected when making the deal with your insurance company (the insurer tricked you with fine print; for example, promising in the application that your car accident damages would be recovered in case of flooding in Riverside, but mentioning in fine print that the coverage is provided only after buying an additional premium).
- Failing to review or respond to your insurance claims in a timely manner (for example, your insurer is trying to stall for time with lack of communication)
- Not giving you the final decision on coverage within a reasonable amount of time after finishing its independent claim investigation (note: investigations by insurance companies are never independent, as they are mostly aimed at reducing cost)
- Failing to give you a prompt response on why coverage was denied, and failing to offer a compromise settlement to partly cover your damages
- Not providing you with a claim form despite your several requests (you need claim forms in order to file an insurance claim).
Unfair requirements or investigation
- Offering unreasonably small settlement amounts – not something you had expected under your policy
- Failing to conduct a fair and unbiased investigation of your claim to assess full damages
- Delaying the investigation or payment by requiring you to provide countless proofs and paperwork for weeks or months on end.
Unfair claim practices
- Failing to conduct a fair investigation in a timely manner (your insurance company’s agents never visited your property to see if there was ever fire, while the company keeps denying your claims for fire damage)
- Failing to provide you with a fair settlement despite having received all the required paperwork and proofs as well as a valid claim.
If your insurance company has violated any of the above-mentioned fair claim practice regulations in Riverside and California, seek the legal advice of an unfair insurance claim practice attorney immediately.
Depending on your particular circumstances and your insurer’s policies, there may be a statute of limitations, which is why you should seek the legal advice of an experienced unfair insurance claim practice lawyer as soon as you start suspecting that your insurance company has engaged in unfair claim practice.