San Diego Life Insurance Dispute Lawyer
Life insurance exists to provide policyholders with an important sense of security. In exchange for payment of premiums, an insured party has the reasonable expectation that his or her loved ones will receive monetary compensation upon his or her death. This relieves them of the personal burden of paying for final expenses and more. Unfortunately, insurance companies sometimes prioritize their own profits over a claimant’s needs at this vulnerable time. This constitutes insurance bad faith and is against California law. If you believe an insurance company is violating its duty to fair dealing, contact the attorneys at Dawson & Rosenthal, P.C. today to schedule a free initial consultation. California residents choose our firm because:
- We have a track record for excellence, garnering multi-million-dollar settlements and verdicts for clients.
- We have 50 years of experience in identifying instances of insurance bad faith and holding companies responsible for their actions.
- Since we only take on a few cases at a time, we can give your claim the full attention it deserves.
Defining Life Insurance Bad Faith
All insurance companies in California have an implied duty to good faith and fair dealing. This means they must seek evidence to grant coverage whenever possible and they must put the best interests of the claimant first. General ways insurance companies exercise bad faith include:
- Denying a valid claim without explanation.
- Terminating a claim without explanation.
- Underpaying on a claim.
- Delaying the process of claims payments.
Examples of Life Insurance Bad Faith
Insurance companies will use a variety of tactics to avoid paying a claim, especially with regard to life insurance. One of the most common ways life insurance companies commit bad faith is by unreasonably delaying the insurance payment and claims process in hopes that a claimant or their survivors will simply give up. Insurance companies may delay the claims process by making unreasonable demands for evidence. Life insurance companies often commit bad faith by misrepresenting insurance policy terms in an attempt to deny coverage.
Life Insurance Bad Faith Laws in California
The California insurance code sets forth certain responsibilities for insurance companies to follow with regard to the sale and execution of policies. These laws are complex and multifaceted, but some of the most notable include:
- An insurance company must rely on all statements, representations, and declaration from the application to assign and execute a life insurance policy.
- An insurer cannot unreasonably deny coverage or refuse to issue a policy based on certain factors, such as past or future travel destinations.
- An insurer has a duty to fully investigate each claim and provide findings (a valuation) within a reasonable time frame.
Proving Life Insurance Bad Faith
It can be difficult to prove that bad faith occurred without an in-depth knowledge of the particulars of insurance law. However, claimants can take steps to identify potential bad faith dealing and protect their right to file a claim against an insurance company:
- Be aware of potential red flags that might indicate insurance bad faith. Examples include repeated requests for the same information or arbitrary requests for evidence to support a claim.
- Contact an attorney to schedule a free initial consultation. The San Diego insurance attorneys at Dawson & Rosenthal, P.C. have more than five decades of experience in bad faith insurance law and can readily identify instances of unfair dealing.
Life insurance is one of the most valuable types of protection available to policyholders. Unfair dealing and bad faith conduct constitutes more than a simple inconvenience to policyholders; it often presents an undue financial hardship to survivors. If you believe you or a loved one has been the victim of insurance bad faith dealing, contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation.