Los Angeles Insurance Bad Faith
Month after month, year after year, we pay insurance companies for policies to “protect us.” We reach out for those hands or umbrella or little lizards and we buy car insurance, health insurance, disability insurance, life insurance, house insurance, boat insurance, trip insurance, business insurance, the list stretches as far as our imagination allows.
Then something happens. We are in a motor vehicle accident. A water pipe breaks and floods the house while we’re on vacation. Our home is destroyed in a California wildfire. Or someone in the family is fighting a life-threatening disease. And we need our insurance.
What Is Insurance Bad Faith
We make a claim. Then one or more of the following things begin happening:
- Delays in paying benefits
- Not paying benefits at all (especially with life insurance and disability insurance policies)
- Not offering enough in benefits for your loss
- Refusal to defend you against a claim or lawsuit
- Refusal to settle a claim within your policy limits
Insurance Bad Faith and the Law
An insurance company is a business. Insurance companies try to pay as little as possible on claims because the more they pay out, the less profit they make. No one begrudges insurance companies for making a profit. But not at the expense of you and me. We have been paying these premiums forever, and now we need the “protection” we have been paying for.
California law agrees. It says that insurance companies have an obligation to their customers. In return for all that money you have paid out in premiums, your insurance company owes you a duty to help you through a catastrophe. If your insurance company isn’t there for you, they are not meeting their end of the deal. They are acting in “bad faith” and you may well have an insurance bad faith lawsuit.
Not Above the Law
When two people make a deal, the law says that they are supposed to treat each other honestly and fairly. Your insurance company is no different. INSURANCE COMPANIES ARE NOT ABOVE THE LAW.
Insurance companies employ armies of highly skilled lawyers to intimidate you and to fight you in court. They are all too happy to spend tens of thousands of dollars on litigation just to keep from having to pay you a dime. And they get away with it — because people are too scared to fight them…or don’t know how. Santa Monica insurance bad faith attorney David Olan has the experience and skills to fight Big Insurance on your behalf.
The Cost of an Insurance Attorney
In most situations, Olan Law takes cases on a contingency basis. This means that you pay nothing until your case is resolved.
Deadlines to File an Insurance Bad Faith Lawsuit
The law imposes deadlines (statutes of limitations) that determine how long you have to file an insurance bad faith lawsuit. If you do not meet the deadline, you give up your Constitutional right to ever file an insurance bad faith lawsuit for the damages or losses you suffered.
Santa Monica insurance bad faith attorney David Olan knows that the sooner you consult with him about your situation, the better for your case. This allows him early on to investigate the facts of the case, to obtain records to ensure that evidence is not lost, and to interview witnesses before their memories fade.
Contact an Insurance Bad Faith Attorney
Contact Santa Monica insurance bad faith attorney David Olan today for a free, no-obligation consultation.
Insurance Bad Faith
Questions & Answers
Q: Can you file an insurance bad faith claim for any type of insurance?
A: If your insurance company — regardless of what type of insurance it is — does not honor its contract with you and does not treat you in good faith, a Los Angeles insurance bad faith attorney may be able to file an insurance bad faith lawsuit against them on your behalf.
Q: What can I do about my insurance agent telling me I had enough insurance and now that I need it I find I don’t have enough?
A: Many people ask their insurance agent what their policy limits should be when they’re buying property or homeowner’s insurance. In order to make the sale, some insurance agents will attempt to give you the lowest premium bid possible by under-insuring your property. It’s unlikely you will know this until you file a claim.
Always take and keep notes when you buy your policy. If the insurance agent recommended the policy limits and they weren’t enough, the insurance company is responsible for paying you for all your losses based on what your limits should have been. Of course the insurance company isn’t going to do this willingly, which is why you will need to contact a Los Angeles bad faith insurance attorney.
Q: Does my insurance company have to defend me in a lawsuit?
A: Your insurance policy — motor vehicle, business, homeowners, and similar types of insurance — has a liability section. Usually included is that the insurance company is required to protect you from lawsuits by others. The insurance company must pay your legal defense costs if you are sued.
Often the insurance company will claim that whatever you were sued for isn’t covered in the policy. If that happens, contact a Los Angeles bad faith insurance attorney.
There are a number of situations in which the insurance company is required to defend you. This includes when the plaintiff is seeking covered damages or when the insurance company learns any facts from any source that would trigger coverage. If you are sued for multiple things and if you are covered for just one of these actions, the company must defend you for all the actions you are being sued for.
If the insurance company refuses to defend you and found to be in bad faith, it may be responsible for all resulting damages, including any judgement or settlement against you.
Q: What is a “replacement guarantee”?
A: Most homeowner insurance or property insurance policies, for instance, have “replacement guarantees” that promise to replace what you lost. What policy holders — and sometimes insurance agents — don’t realize until it’s too late, is that replacement coverage only applies if you actually rebuild the property with “like, kind, and quality” of what was destroyed.
Also, personal and business property are usually insured under these policies as a percentage of the face value of the policy, not a a percentage of the replacement value of the property.