Legal Protection from Insurance Companies’ Delays and Low Settlement Offers
In your best interests, we’ve investigated the assets and revenue sources of the casualty insurance industry (auto, home owners). It sounds boring, but has revealed some interesting facts.
Did you know that paying claims is only a SMALL part of their operation? A significant portion of their time, energy and revenues are devoted to investments, both in the stock market and in real estate.
As Their Returns Diminish, You May be Impacted
Accordingly, when economic times are hard, their return on investments diminishes. The financial impact trickles down to you, the claimant, because the insurance companies—your insurance carrier that you pay premiums to—become even MORE reluctant to offer REASONABLE and TIMELY settlements in legitimate claims.
Of course, each insurance company has its own guidelines for claims handling procedures. Usually they follow the guidelines established by the Pennsylvania Insurance Department. According to these guidelines, legitimate claims must be evaluated and responded to within a certain time frame, usually two to six weeks.
The “Bad Faith” Solution
Violation of these guidelines —for example, excessive delay in responding to a homeowner’s claim—can result in an action for “bad faith” under the Pennsylvania Bad Faith Statute.
We’ve successfully utilized this consumer-protection statute to:
- Break through the “logjam” in insurance claim departments.
- Remind the insurance carriers that excessive delays and/or unreasonably low settlement offers can result in a “bad faith” claim, which would allow for our clients to be awarded additional damages.
In a recent case, an initial settlement offer of $2,500 was promptly increased to $60,000 once we filed a Bad Faith claim!