Insurance Bad Faith Lawyer
Michael J. Romano
Michael J. Romano
Insurance Bad Faith Claims in West Virginia
Insurance companies live by one commandment: Thou shall pay as little as possible, as late as possible. The Law Office of Michael J. Romano represents clients who have been victimized by insurance bad faith practices in North-Central West Virginia. Attorney Michael J. Romano fights to defend the rights of individuals and groups who have been mistreated by insurance companies.
Contact The Law Office of Michael J. Romano for a free initial consultation with a lawyer who can advise you on insurance bad faith matters. Call 304-624-1100 today to make an appointment.
Insurance Bad Faith Defined
Insurance bad faith is “the intentional failure by an insurer to perform its contractual obligations in good faith and with fair dealing implied toward its insured” that occurs when that insurance company refuses to pay a valid claim without having a reasonable cause or intentionally failing to make an effort to determine the facts.
Source: Black’s Law Dictionary
The Dishonest and Illegal Tactics of Claims Adjusters
Far too often, claims adjusters will use dishonest and illegal tactics. If you are the victim of by bad faith insurance tactics, we understand your frustration and we are here to help!
Large insurance companies are very powerful entities and, in many cases, you may find yourself at their mercy regarding whether or not they try to settle your valid claim. By their sheer financial size, they can quickly overwhelm you by flooding you with excessive legal proceedings and paperwork until you become destitute.
Signs that May Indicate Bad Faith Insurance Claim Practices
If you notice that your insurer or insurance claim adjuster is engaging in any of the following practices, be aware that you may be dealing with an insurer who is acting in bad faith. Contact the Law Office of Michael J. Romano right away if you believe that your insurer’s actions indicate that they are conducting illegal or unfair claims settlement practices:
- When liability is reasonably clear, insurer’s failure to effectuate prompt, reasonable, and fair claim settlement
- Attempt by insurer to settle a claim for less than a fair amount that a reasonable person would believe himself to be entitled to
- Effort by insurer to diminish/discount a claim (requiring the insured to pursue litigation)
- Failure of insurer to make any arbitration award appeals policy known to the insured (attempt to settle insured’s claim for less than amount awarded to the insurer through arbitration)
- “Lowballing” and/or unjustified contention regarding the value of a valid loss
- Threaten not to pay claims
- Delay, denial, or discount of payment without a valid reason and/or failure to provide reasonable explanation when making a compromise offer of claim settlement
- Claims paid without being accompanied by a statement clearly indicating the coverage under which the claim has been paid
- Insurer’s failure to acknowledge receipt of covered claim notification (and promptly reply)
- Insurer’s failure to complete a prompt, proper, thorough investigation to determine liability/damage based on available information (resulting in failure to pay the claim)
- Requiring physician and/or claimant to submit duplicate information (i.e.: Preliminary Claim Form and Formal Proof of Loss Form -which contain essentially the same information) or requesting overburdensome and unnecessary documentation demands)
- Upon receipt of claim and/or proof of loss, failure to affirm/deny claim coverage within a reasonable amount of time
- Alteration of an application or policy without the knowledge, notice, or consent of the insured (and attempt to fraudulently settle a claim on this basis)
- Intentionally or irresponsibly withholding, misconstruing, non-disclosing, or misinterpreting claims information, file documentation and/or policy provisions.
- Failure to inform insured of policy benefits relevant to a covered claim or which would be in favor of the claimant
- Utilizing illegal, fraudulent, harassing, intrusive, or otherwise demeaning investigative methods and procedures which cause distress/victimization of the insured and/or using undue ad/or extreme tactics such as persecution, victimizing tactics, and/or wrongful acts meant to thwart, intimidate, crush, threaten, or oppress/scare the claimant into not making or pursuing a claim
- Insurer’s failure to promptly settle reasonably clear claims under one portion of a policy to influence settlement under another portion of a policy
- Failure to settle claim directly as required by law (instead, attempt to force claimant to pursue claim against a third-party prior to offering settlement)
- Failure to comply or conform to industry standards or deviating from standard procedures in claims manuals
- Utilizing wrongful/inaccurate factual/legal information and/or not being forthcoming with pertinent facts regarding coverage to deny, delay, or diminish claim payment
- Unwarranted/unsubstantiated accusation of arson
- Regarding cash payouts to settle first party auto insurance claims, insurer’s failure to pay the same amount which insurer would pay if making repairs
- Insurers advising claimants to not hire a lawyer and/or treatment of insured/claimants (with or without legal representation) as adversaries
- Significant premium amount increase following claim where insured was not at fault
- Alteration or change of policy coverage without consent or informing the insured
- Denial of necessary medical treatment due to cost and misrepresenting a less costly procedure as being just as effective
- Gross misinterpretation of policy provisions
- Misrepresentation that an investigation “of fact” is being conducted by the insurer
- Failure to respond to claimant’s inquiries within a reasonable time
- Refusal of insurer to settle a third party claim within the limits of the insured’s policy (resulting in exposure of the insured party to additional liability) when able to do so
- Intentional misinterpretation of the law by the insurer
- Failure to settle a claim where liability is clear and the amount claimed is reasonable
Unfortunately, bad faith insurers are much more common than many people realize. Good insurers make solid attempts to look for and determine how they can best accept and pay claims promptly and according to law. Insurers who act in bad faith look for unlawful and deceptive means to delay, diminish, disapprove, deny, and avoid paying valid claims.
Be Aware of the Insurance Company’s Bad Faith Insurance Tactics
If you suspect that your insurance company may be acting in bad faith or if you know that you will be negotiating with your insurance company’s adjuster in the near future, review the following link. Become familiar with insurance bad faith tactics and be aware of the many illegal ways in which your insurance company may try to take advantage of you: Some Signs Of Bad Faith Insurance Claims Settlement Practices
The Law Office of Michael J. Romano Knows Deceptive Insurance Tactics
At the Law Office of Michael J. Romano, we will assist you with settling your insurance claim from beginning to end. We have extensive knowledge of the deceptive tactics that insurance companies sometimes use to illegally deny them their rightful benefits.
If you have already become a victim of insurance bad faith, contact our law office and we will set you up with a free appointment to review your case and help you determine what your next best action will be: 304-624-1100.