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The basic concept behind insurance is simple: you pay a premium every month, and when you need coverage for an unexpected calamity covered by your policy, your insurance will kick in and pay an agreed-upon amount. Unfortunately, many insurers place profits over the well-being of their policyholders and do whatever they can to delay, devalue or outright deny your claim.
If you’ve been unjustly treated by your insurance carrier, you have only a small window of time to take action. Call the experienced Denver insurance bad faith attorneys at Fuicelli & Lee today at (303) 355-7202 to discuss your case for free. We help clients across Colorado’s Front Range, including Denver, Longmont, and surrounding areas. Se habla español.
This page discusses many areas of insurance bad faith, including:
- What Is Insurance Bad Faith?
- Common Types of Insurance Bad Faith
- The Three D’s of Insurance Companies
- Insurance Denial
- Car Insurance Bad Faith
- Home Insurance Bad Faith
- Medical Insurance Bad Faith
- Life Insurance Bad Faith
- How Our Insurance Bad Faith Attorneys Can Help You
- Discuss Your Insurance Bad Faith Case for Free
Why Choose Fuicelli & Lee as Your Bad Faith Insurance Lawyers
- At Fuicelli & Lee, our motto, “Experience Matters,” is a reflection of the drive, track record, and relentless pursuit of justice held by our attorneys. We understand that insurance companies often put their profits before the interests of policyholders. Our legal team understands how insurance bad faith laws affect your claim and can defend against the insurance company’s profit-motivated strategies.
- We service all of Colorado, including Denver and the Front Range area. Our firm is up to speed with the latest technology, including virtual case management techniques.
- We offer all clients our No Fee Promise and free initial consultations. Our attorneys will only be paid if and when we obtain a settlement or award for your case.
What Is Insurance Bad Faith?
Insurance agencies have an obligation to treat their policyholders fairly. If you make a claim with your insurer, that company must perform a thorough investigation into your claim and explain its findings. However, insurance companies conduct investigations that are almost always designed to uncover ways to minimize or deny valid claims.
Claims of bad faith typically occur when insurers deny, delay or diminish the value of your claim. In many of these cases, the damages you incur due to your insurance company’s bad faith are an unfair financial burden.
To succeed in proving that you have a valid claim and that the insurance company acted unreasonably toward you, your attorney will realize a thorough investigation of your claim. This may involve recovering evidence and witness testimony, interpreting the premises of your insurance contract, and the circumstances of your accident to develop a legal strategy that accurately represents your damages.
Common Types of Insurance Bad Faith
Insurance bad faith occurs in a variety of ways; however, they all involve an insurance company’s failure to fulfill a duty to you, the insured party. The following are the most commonly reported practices in an insurance bad faith claim:
- Deliberately acting in bad faith: Insurance companies routinely deny legitimate claims. By underpaying and outright denying claims, insurers collectively reap more than $30 billion in profits every year.
- Underpaying claims: By failing to fairly investigate claims, insurance companies commonly underpay the losses of their policyholders. They do this by misclassifying damages, inaccurately calculating repair costs, and interpreting policies in their favor.
- Grossly delaying claim payments: Insurance claims are complicated and demand accurate analysis of the cause of the damage. Extensive delays can be considered a breach of contract and, therefore, bad faith.
- Denying legitimate claims: Insurers have a duty to settle valid claims for the policy limits or face potential legal action.
- Canceling an insurance policy completely for an unsubstantiated reason: Your policy can only be canceled by your insurer for a legitimate reason. Lack of payment, for example. If an insurance company elects to cancel your policy, you must be notified in writing before your policy is canceled.
The Three D’s of Insurance Companies
In an effort to pay less on claims, insurance companies often implement the “three D’s” of bad faith insurance practices:
- Delay: For even the most straightforward claims, many insurance companies say they need 30 days to review the claim. Why? Many of these cases could be thoroughly reviewed in an hour or two. The reason for this delay is that insurance companies know that the longer they wait, the less resolve remains in the person making the claim. Studies have shown that the longer insurance companies delay paying a claim, the less they pay.
- Deny: Once the tactic to delay fails, insurance companies often attempt to deny legitimate claims. There are, of course, many variations of denial. Sometimes it is an outright denial of the claim, and other times it is a “lowball offer.” In fact, in an attempt to lowball or deny a claim, some insurance providers specifically classify cases as Minor Impact Soft Tissue (MIST) cases. Bad faith insurance claims involving MIST typically imply minor damage to vehicles and “whiplash” type injuries, which insurance companies will argue have little to no value.
- Defend: Unfortunately, insurance companies generally take a no-holds-barred, win-at-all-costs approach to defending claims. In fact, some insurance companies specifically classify cases as Minor Impact Soft Tissue (MIST) cases. Essentially, MIST cases involve claims with minor damage to the vehicles and “whiplash” type injuries.
Insurance companies are in the business of making money, not paying settlements. Not only do they seek ways to pay their policyholders as little as possible, but they also try to uncover ways to deny claims outright. Your insurance provider may attempt to deny your coverage in a number of ways, such as:
- Refusing to pay for “out of network” emergency care when victims were in no condition to secure pre-approval
- Refusing to pay for pre-approved procedures after they have been performed
- Claiming procedures are experimental despite the opinions of doctors
- Refusing to pay for expensive procedures
Car Insurance Bad Faith
Automotive travel is an essential aspect of life for most people. Under Colorado law, drivers are required to have liability insurance. However, other policy options are available, such as:
- Rental car/towing
- Uninsured motorist
- Comprehensive coverage
If you were injured in a Denver car accident, you may face pain, medical expenses, and lost wages. In these already difficult situations, you expect your insurer to treat you fairly and do the right thing. However, insurers frequently place their best interests above those of their policyholders, offering much less than needed, or in the worst cases, completely denying claims altogether.
You have rights. You do not have to take lowball offers from insurance companies. Our skilled Denver bad faith insurance lawyers can determine the true value of your claim and help you seek the maximum compensation you deserve.
Home Insurance Bad Faith
When buying a house, you need to protect your investment. To do this, most homeowners purchase property insurance.
There are typically four types of coverage:
- Liability coverage: Liability insurance covers damages incurred by others. If you are sued by someone who was injured on your property, this protection helps to cover the injured party’s medical costs and lost wages, as well as your own legal expenses.
- Coverage of other structures: This coverage option pays for the replacement or repair of structures not attached to your home, like a detached garage, fence, or shed.
- Personal property coverage: Catastrophes can affect more than just your home. This is used to cover losses such as clothing, electronics, and furniture.
- Dwelling coverage: In the event of fire and smoke, flood, lightning, wind, or hail, this coverage can help to cover the costs of repairing or rebuilding your house.
At Fuicelli & Lee, we know how insurance agencies operate. We fight for the rights of property owners, and we aren’t intimidated by insurance agency legal teams. If you have a dispute with your insurer, contact us today.
Medical Insurance Bad Faith
More than other types of insurance, health coverage has the potential to make life or death decisions for their policyholders. In an effort to avoid their responsibilities, some insurance companies wrongly claim:
- The medical provider is out of network
- The policy doesn’t cover the procedure, or the procedure isn’t necessary
- The policyholder made an error in the paperwork
If your insurance company is trying to settle for less than you need or attempting to deny a legitimate claim, this may constitute bad faith. Contact Fuicelli & Lee today for a complimentary consultation.
Life Insurance Bad Faith
After the loss of a loved one, benefits from a life insurance policy can be critical to your family’s financial security and your future well-being. Unfortunately, insurers often try to deny payments by claiming:
- The death never occurred
- The deceased’s employer did not provide the proper documentation
- There was a lapse in policy
- A non-covered exclusion was responsible for the death
- Material misrepresentations in the life insurance application
Losing someone you love and depend on is hard enough. You deserve the life insurance benefits to which you are lawfully entitled. If you are struggling with an adversarial insurance company, contact us today to discuss your case for free.
How Our Denver Insurance Bad Faith Attorneys Can Help You
When you make regular premium payments, you expect that your claims process will be fair and simple in the event of a catastrophe. However, the goal of insurance companies is to maximize their profits while minimizing their expenditures.
Unlike insurance companies that see you as just another claim number, at Fuicelli & Lee, you are our top priority. We know how important a fair settlement is to your future and the well-being of your family, and we will work tirelessly to protect your rights and fight for your best interests. Generally, this begins with your attorney issuing a demand letter to the insurance company. Henceforth, your lawyer will seek fair treatment for you in the form of the financial compensation you deserve.
A bad faith insurance lawyer from our firm will be able to refute an unfair denial or low settlement and work to recover fair compensation through whatever means necessary. If possible, we will work to resolve your claim through settlement negotiations. However, if the other parties are unwilling to offer a reasonable amount, we will not hesitate to pursue a bad faith lawsuit. We have extensive experience with bad faith claims, so we know the tactics insurers use and how to successfully advocate on your behalf.
Discuss Your Insurance Bad Faith Case for Free With a Denver Attorney
If you live in Denver, Longmont, or another area along the Front Range and need an experienced insurance bad faith lawyer you can trust, call Fuicelli & Lee today at (303) 355-7202 for a free consultation. We handle cases on a contingency fee basis, which means you owe us nothing unless we reach a successful outcome in your case.
Fuicelli & Lee, PC – Denver Office
1731 Gilpin Street
Denver, CO 80218
P: (303) 355-7202