Bad Faith Insurance
In the cases Gilde Law Firm handles, there is almost always an insurance company involved. Gilde Law Firm often represents people against companies who claim that an insurance policy covers our clients’ injuries. However, Gilde Law Firm can also represent you against your own insurance company, if your claim is wrongly denied, underpaid, mishandled, or your insurance company has treated your unfairly.
An insurer that mishandles a claim can face liability for insurance bad faith. Bad faith is a tortious breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing by the insurer. In a first party context, an insurer can face bad faith liability if, for example, the insurer unreasonably withholds policy benefits, unreasonably delays in paying or processing the claim, or fails to thoroughly investigate the claim.
In a third party context, an insurer can face bad faith liability if, for example, the insurer improperly refuses to defend the insured or fails to settle the action for a reasonable settlement demand that is within policy limits. If the insurer is found to have acted in bad faith, then the insurer can be held liable for damages exceeding the amount of the policy limits and may also face punitive damages.
First Party and Third Party Insurance Coverage
First party coverage in an insurance policy provides coverage for losses sustained directly by the insured. For example, a fire insurance policy is designed to provide coverage for fire loss to the insured’s own property. In contrast, a policy’s third party coverage provides coverage for losses sustained by other persons, not the insured, but for which the insured may be legally responsible. It is important to distinguish between these two types, since different legal principles can apply depending on whether first party or third party coverage is at issue.
Bad Faith typically involves claims made as First Party claims – claims by the insured, you, against the insurer, your insurance company, and can be made for various reasons.
As an insured in Texas, your insurance policy means you have a contract with your insurance company. As a result of that contractual relationship, your insurance company owes you a fiduciary duty that requires them to act in good faith in handling your insurance claim. Your insurance company also has certain duties under the Texas Insurance Code to properly handle your claim and pay your claim timely. This is true in other U.S. states as well. If your insurance claim has been denied, underpaid, or wrongfully handled, the law may provide you certain causes of action against your insurance company.
After a tragic event, you trust your insurance company to be on your side and to help you through these troubled times. You trust your insurer to treat you fairly as they evaluate the damage you suffered. After all, your insurance company signed a contract that obligated them to insure and protect you against loss in times of crisis. Unfortunately, many insurance companies may not be on your side in times of crisis. Instead, your insurance company may be much more interested in protecting its massive profits and not you.
Even if your insurance company has agreed to compensate you, remember that they also have a duty to settle your claim timely and in good faith. You are entitled to a fair and prompt settlement of your damages. If your insurance company unnecessarily denies your claim or fails to promptly settle your damages, you may have rights under the common law and statutory law of the State of Texas.
Gilde Law Firm handles First Party Insurance Bad Faith Claims for the following type of losses for your home or property:
- Other natural disasters
We Believe: After a tragic event, we believe that your insurance company should be by your side and help you through your troubled times. We believe in this litigation, and we believe you.
We Fight: Litigation against the insurance industry is difficult and extremely adversarial. Gilde Law Firm knows how to fight for your interests.
We Win: We will work to ensure that your insurance company fully and fairly handles and pays your claim.
Contact an experienced Bad Faith Insurance Lawyer. Time is of the essence. Don’t delay – contact us today.