How to safeguard your bad faith insurance claim

When we purchase insurance, we do so with the expectation that if, and when, we need it, our insurance carriers will pay our claim. After all, we have made our payments—sometimes over many years—diligently and faithfully every month since we bought the policy.

We did so in good faith—and with every expectation that our losses would be covered in the event we ever needed them. So what happens when our insurance companies act in bad faith and deny our claim?

Document, Document, Document

Fortunately, there are laws that protect consumers from insurance companies that would rather not pay on a claim, and good attorneys who can pursue legal action on our behalf. For your part, if you even suspect you have a claim, there are things you need to do in order to build the best case possible:

Keep a record of all contact: From the very first conversation you have with your carrier, document the date and time of each call. Get the full name of the person you talked to. If the employee will not furnish a last name, ask for their employee I.D. or other identification number. Make note of the town and state where they are located. 

Keep notes: For each call, jot down all the details of the conversation. Make note of what the person says they will do.  Will they be sending you a form? Make note of the name/kind of form. Will they be forwarding your information to a repair shop (for a car accident); will they be asking for medical records (for disability)? Make sure you take detailed notes of everything that is said.

Keep all correspondence: From the denial letter forward, keep every single piece of correspondence you receive form the company, even if you think it is trivial. It may prove to be something extremely important to your case.

Get a receipt for documents you send: If you are faxing documents, make sure you receive a copy of the completed transmission. If you are sending information via the U.S. Mail, send it “return receipt requested” so that you have proof not only that you sent the documents, but also that they were received.

There is recourse

You can fight the insurance companies, and you can win. But winning means proving your case. Keeping detailed records can help ensure that no detail is forgotten, giving you the best possible outcome for your case.

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