INSURANCE & CONTRACT CLAIMS
INSURANCE & CONTRACT CLAIMS
Bad Faith Insurance Attorney in Houston, TX
What is Common Law Bad Faith?
Common Law vs. Statutory Law
Elements of Common Law Bad Faith
Most Common Examples of Common Law Bad Faith
- Unnecessary and unreasonable claim delays
- Refusing to appropriately investigate a covered claim
- Lying about or purposely misinterpreting the insurance policy
- Stalling and hoping that policyholders will drop the claim
- Offering less than what the claim is worth
- Failing to disclose coverage
- Withholding important documents or information
- Failing to tell the policyholder about an important deadline
- Denying a valid claim without reason
Elements of a Statutory Law Bad Faith Claim
Most Common Examples of Statutory Law Bad Faith
- Insurance providers giving their policyholders an appropriate explanation for denying their claim or providing a compromise settlement
- Poorly executed investigations that result in claim refusal
- An insurance provider’s negligence when it comes to issuing a quick and fair settlement for claims when liability is already clear
- An insurance provider’s failure to implement proper investigation standards
How to Prove Common and Statutory Law Bad Faith
- Valid Claim: you must prove that you had a valid insurance claim and that your insurance provider denied the claim.
- Unreasonable Withholding: you also must prove that your insurance company unreasonably withheld benefits. Negligence is generally not strong enough evidence to prove bad faith.
- Personal Suffering: you must prove that the insurance company caused you to suffer physical harm, financial damages, or emotional distress due to its unreasonable conduct.
Damages for Common and Statutory Law Bad Faith
- Up to three times the amount that the insurance company would’ve paid if it processed your claim appropriately
- Attorney fees, interests, and court costs
- Mental suffering
- Punitive damages as a way to punish the insurance company for its poor behavior
History Behind Common Law Bad Faith
Why are Statutory Law Claims More Preferable?
Texas Bad Faith Insurance Laws
Texas Law Requires Insurance Companies to Respond
- Acknowledge the claim
- Begin an investigation of the claim
- Request additional information from the policyholder that is necessary for the investigation
- Notify the policyholder about whether the insurance company accepts or rejects the claim
Payments from Insurance Companies
USAA v. Menchaca
- A policyholder can’t recover policy benefits as damages for a statutory law violation if the policy doesn’t provide a right to those benefits.
- Policyholders can recover benefits as actual damages under the Insurance Code even if the policyholder has no contractual right to those benefits. This is only if the statutory violation causes loss of benefits or the insurance company’s conduct caused the policyholder to lose that right.
- If an insurance company’s statutory violation causes injury separate from the policyholder’s right to recover benefits, the policyholder can recover damages for that injury.
- Policyholders can’t recover damages based on an insurance company’s statutory violation if the policyholder didn’t have the right to receive benefits and wasn’t injured.
Contact a Bad Faith Insurance Attorney Today
There is a never a fee unless we recover on your behalf.