Schmidt, Sethi & Akmajian Blog

Insurance Bad Faith

Posted by Dev Sethi | Apr 15, 2014 | 0 Comments

When do I have a right to bring a claim against an insurance company for treating me unfairly?

When an insurance company agrees to insure you, they have an implied obligation to be honest and fair in handling any insurance claims you may have; this is known as "good faith and fair dealing." In other words, when you bring a claim to them-from being injured in a car accident, for example-the insurance company is not allowed to search for reasons why they shouldn't have to pay you. Instead, they are required to make a thorough investigation of the claim, consider all the circumstances that support it, and most importantly, give as much consideration to your financial interest as the company gives to its own financial interest.

When the insurance company refuses to pay your claim when it should, refuses a claim without doing a thorough investigation, or attempts to settle your claim for less than it knows the claim is worth, the insurance company is then acting in "bad faith" by neglecting their obligation to you of "good faith and fair dealing." In this event, the insurance company maybe liable for "insurance bad faith." Additionally, the court may require them to pay more than the claim was originally worth, including punitive damages in the event that their misconduct is extreme or outrageous.

Because most insurance companies are private, part of their interest involves running a profitable business. Unfortunately, some insurance companies try to make a profit by cutting corners and denying claims that they are more than obligated to pay. Insurance bad faith liability discourages companies from acting unfairly or committing dishonest business practices just so that they can save some money, and instead creates a balanced playing field in order to ensure that your financial interests are put at the same level of priority as theirs.

About the Author

Dev Sethi

Dev Sethi litigates and tries a wide-range of complex injury and death cases throughout Arizona. He has Martindale Hubbell's highest rating, AV, and he is listed in "Best Lawyers." Dev is also recognized as an Arizona Super Lawyer in the area of plaintiff's products liability litigation.Dev has been at the forefront of auto product defect litigation. He played a key role in uncovering the Goodyear Load Range E tire scandal and worked to hold Ford Motor Company responsible for the danger posed by their now notorious 15-passenger vans. Dev is currently representing families in product liability suits against the nation's largest corporations including General Motors, Ford, Pentair Pools and Invacare.


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