An insurance policy is an agreement between you and the insurance company. You uphold your end of the deal by paying your monthly insurance premium bill. It is only fair to expect that the insurance company will hold up its end of the deal if tragedy happens to strike. Indeed, the insurance industry spends hundreds of millions of dollars to make sure you believe that you are in “good hands” with insurance companies that are “like a good neighbor” just wanting to “get you back where you belong.”
However, far too often, insurance companies do not fairly and efficiently process claims. Instead, these giant companies turn their power and might AGAINST their own customers. A common insurance industry tactic is to delay, deny and defend virtually any and every claim.
When you submit your claim, you probably assume “your” insurance company is interested in helping you in your time of need. After all, you’ve been paying for years just in case something like this came along, right?
The reality is that, after you make a claim, the insurance company may intentionally and needlessly delay the process, deny that the policy even covers the claim, and aggressively defend even minor claims in court. By dragging out and complicating the process of virtually every claim, insurance companies discourage people from pursuing valid claims and manage to force some customers to accept far less for a claim than they should have been paid for their loss. In short, the insurance companies make big money by delaying, denying and defending.
Fortunately, there are strong legal protections for insurance customers. For example, under Texas law:
- You have the right to be treated fairly and honestly when you make a claim.
- You have the right to reject any settlement amount, including any unfair valuation, offered by the insurance company.
- Your insurance company must tell you in writing why your claim or part of your claim was denied.
- When you file a claim on your own policy, you have the right to have your claim processed and paid promptly.
- If the insurance company fails to meet required claims processing and payment deadlines, you have the right to collect 18% annual interest and attorney’s fees in addition to your claim amount.
- Generally, within 15 calendar days, your insurance company must acknowledge receipt of your claim and request any additional information reasonably related to your claim.
- Within 15 business days (30 days if the company reasonably suspects arson) after receipt of all requested information, the company must approve or deny your claim in writing. The law allows the insurance company to extend this deadline up to 45 days if it notifies you that more time is needed and tells you why.
- After notifying you that your claim is approved, your insurance company must pay the claim within 5 business days.
- If your claim results from a weather-related catastrophe or other major natural disaster as defined by TDI, your insurance company may take 45 additional days to approve or deny your claim and 15 additional days to pay your claim
‘Bad Faith’ Insurance Lawsuits Filed by Heygood, Orr & Pearson
Contact the lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson for your free case evaluation and to learn more about your legal right to compensation. You can reach us by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001, or by filling out a free consultation form.
Case results depend upon a variety of factors unique to each case. Results of other cases do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any future case.