Dennis Wall is a veteran commentator on various claims practice issues and on advice to avoid bad faith accusations. In Hurricane Report: Acting in Good Faith,I found his point regarding what every insurance company should do when faced with partial payment situations following catastrophes to be dead-on:
The clear lesson from these recently enacted and revised state laws is this: Good faith claim handling — particularly of claims for policy benefits and proceeds in the aftermath of a hurricane or another catastrophe — requires prompt payment for any part of a claim that is reasonably covered.
What constitutes "prompt" payment? It may vary from place to place, depending upon the local law, but the same concept still holds true. A claim should be paid within either a reasonable amount of time or within a specific time period dictated by local laws — usually 30 days — of that portion of any claim that is reasonably proven as covered by the proof-of-loss statements. (emphasis added)