Kentucky Insurance Bad Faith Lawyer
Insurers are required to honor the terms of the insurance policy and handle claims fairly and timely. However, many insurance companies will use tactics designed to drag out the claims process and payout less than they should on a valid claim.
Kentucky has laws designed to deal with bad faith insurance claims, including the Kentucky Consumer Protection Act and the Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act (UCSPA). Under these statutes, victims of bad faith insurance practices can recover compensation – sometimes significantly more than the actual value of their underlying insurance claim.
If you believe that you have been the victim of bad faith tactics by an insurance company in Kentucky, do not wait to get help from a qualified lawyer. The attorneys at Morgan, Collins, Yeast & Salyer, are ready to review your situations and discuss your options for seeking compensation.
It takes Kentucky Courage to stand up to insurance companies that unfairly drag their feet or deny or underpay valid claims. We have the courage to take on the big insurance companies and fight for the rights of regular people.
Morgan, Collins, Yeast & Salyer, has multiple offices in Kentucky, including locations in Lexington, Manchester, Paintsville, Somerset, Paducah, Hazard, London, and Princeton. When you call us or contact us online to set up a free consultation, we will be ready to review your case and discuss your legal options.
What Is a Bad Faith Insurance Claim?
Bad faith insurance claims happen when an insurance company breaches the covenant of good faith and fair dealing when handling a claim.
The Kentucky Consumer Protection Act makes illegal all unfair, false, misleading, or deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of any trade or commerce. Under Kentucky Revised Statute § 367.220, any person who suffers loss of money or property because of methods, acts, or practices declared unlawful by the Kentucky Consumer Protection Act can bring a lawsuit. In such cases, a court can award damages and provide other relief.
The UCSPA establishes 17 different acts of omission that can constitute an unfair claims settlement practice. Some of the different acts include:
- Misrepresentation of pertinent facts or insurance policy provisions relating to coverages at issue
- Failure to acknowledge and act reasonably promptly upon communications with respect to claims arising under insurance policies
- Failure to adopt and implement reasonable standards for the prompt investigation of claims arising under insurance policies
- Refusal to pay claims without conducting a reasonable investigation based upon all available information
- Failure to affirm or deny coverage of claims within a reasonable time after proof of loss statements have been completed
Do You Have a Bad Faith Insurance Lawsuit?
A bad faith insurance claim will typically require proving three things:
- The insurance company must have been obligated to pay the claim under the terms of the insurance policy.
- The insurance company must have lacked a reasonable basis in law or fact for denying a claim or failing to settle the claim.
- The insurance company must have either known there was no reasonable basis for denying the claim or acted with reckless disregard as to whether a basis existed.
Examples of Bad Faith Insurance Claims
Bad faith tactics are not all the same, and in fact, an insurer can engage in of multiple kinds of acts of bad faith. Some of the most common examples are:
- Falsifying information. The insurance company may change important information relating to your application or policy. It could also deliberately misrepresent important facts or policy details.
- Delaying claims. While an insurance company is expected to quickly investigate a car accident and provide a prompt resolution, many claims are delayed by lengthy investigations. Furthermore, insurers may place a number of other requirements on people, such as preliminary claims reports and proof of loss forms, all intended only to further stall proceedings.
- Refusing to investigate or act on a claim. An insurance company may too quickly refuse to conduct the necessary investigation or adequate review of a claim. A quick rejection is often a sign that an insurer did not give a claim its proper level of consideration.
- Settlement tricks. When an insurance company makes a settlement offer, it should explain exactly what that settlement covers. Remember, a settlement is intended to be the equivalent of what you would obtain in court, without actually having to go through a lengthy and costly trial. A settlement is never simply a way for an insurance company to reduce its obligation to you.
You should always have a skilled lawyer handling your dealings with an insurance company. That way, you can be assured that you are not being taken advantage of by an unscrupulous insurer.
Be skeptical if an insurance company contacts you, and an adjuster expresses concern while promising to take care of you. Chances are very good that these gestures are designed to lull you into a false sense of security.
How to File a Bad Faith Claim in Kentucky
Before you file a bad faith claim, carefully review the specific details of your insurance contract. You should keep detailed records of all actions relating to your claim, including the date you apply and the date your claim is denied.
If you are unable to get the compensation you believe you are entitled to, submit a formal demand letter to an insurance company notifying them of your intention to file suit. You should also file a complaint with the Kentucky Department of Insurance.
Your insurance bad faith lawyer can handle these steps for you and can work to negotiate a fair and full bad faith auto insurance settlement to your case. If an insurer is unwilling to provide reasonable compensation, the lawyer can file a lawsuit to take your case to trial.
How Our Kentucky Bad Faith Insurance Lawyers Can Help You
Were you the victim of bad faith tactics by an insurance company in Kentucky? Make sure you contact Morgan, Collins, Yeast & Salyer, as soon as possible.
Our firm understands how insurers operate, and we can help you get the evidence you need to prove that an insurance company breached its covenant of good faith and fair dealing. Call us or contact us online now to take advantage of a free consultation.