Good Faith Claims Handling

How Shifting Language Away from “Bad Faith” and Towards “Good Faith” Could Benefit Policyholders, is a post that should be studied. Insurance companies must be held accountable for harm caused when they fail to act in “good faith” and foreseeable damages occur to their policyholder. The standard has nothing to do with somebody or entity being “bad.” The post correctly noted:
Continue Reading Good Faith is What Insurance Claims Service Is All About—Tuesday @2 With Chip Talks About the Good Faith Claims Handling Standard

In the world of first-party insurance claims and litigation, we hear and use the term “bad faith” nearly every day. The term regularly arises when contractors, public adjusters, and attorneys are attempting to resolve a first party insurance claim pre-suit. Then, if litigation is necessary, bad faith often becomes a distinct claim made on behalf of policyholders. Because “bad faith” is a distinct claim in litigation, though, the term is inherently adversarial and, pre-suit, it carries an accusatory tone. It also carries different meanings based upon the state in which the claim arises, and in some states, proving an insurer’s bad faith through litigation is incredibly difficult as it may require proof of intentional dishonesty or oppressive conduct by the insurer.1
Continue Reading How Shifting Language Away from “Bad Faith” and Towards “Good Faith” Could Benefit Policyholders

A recent article addressing virtual adjustment of State Farm’s 34,000 broken pipe claims in Texas caught my attention. State Farm Adjusters Go Virtual as More Than 34,000 Claims Roll in for Texas Winter Storm, is worthy of consideration by all property claims adjusters.
Continue Reading Are Virtual Adjustments Better? Join Tuesday at 2 With Chip Merlin for a Discussion About New Claims Handling Trends

We should strive to be honest in our views, give credit where it is due, and be fair and balanced when making observations. Two sides to a story occur frequently and an underlying silent story about why things go awry is usually lurking upon greater investigation. Unlike Lexington Insurance Company, which I called out a week ago in, Lexington Slow-Pays Claims and Ignores Policyholders, GEICO Marine Insurance gets applause for adjustment of a claim in a well-done manner when things could have gone terribly wrong.
Continue Reading GEICO Marine Insurance Good Faith Claims Service—Being Fair and Balanced

The battle regarding insurance surrogates is being waged in Washington state. Many insurance companies want the Department of Insurance to allow unlicensed non-adjusters determine how much policyholders deserve to be paid. Here is the what the Washington Department of Insurance states is a legislative priority:
Continue Reading Insurance Surrogates and Insurers Delegating Those Duties Do Not Want Surrogates To Be held Accountable For Failing To Provide Honest and Good Faith Treatment In Washington

In 2007, a law became effective in Maryland that, for the first time, permitted insureds to sue their insurers for failing to act in good faith in settling their first party claims under a property insurance policy. The cause of action, which is found in Maryland Code § 3-1701, applies in actions to determine whether coverage exists under the relevant insurance policy, and also in actions to determine the extent to which the insured is entitled to receive payment from the insurer for a covered loss.
Continue Reading Insurance Bad Faith in Maryland: Part 1

Insurance Bulletins are often overlooked gems protecting policyholders. Various departments of insurance regularly issue bulletins to Insurance companies regarding claims handling. The Arkansas Department of Insurance issued a bulletin last week indicating insurers should stop denying windstorm and hail damage claims when there is a valid reason by the policyholder not to have timely reported the loss.
Continue Reading Should Late Notice of Windstorm and Hail Claims Be a Valid Defense When the Insurer Is Not Prejudiced?

Similar to other states, Arizona has adopted unfair claims settlement practices statutes and regulations. While one cannot a bring a private cause of action under the Unfair Claim Settlement Practices Act1 and its companion regulations, they lay out specific standards for insurers to promptly investigate and process claims.
Continue Reading Arizona Claims Handling Guidelines at a Glance

Oklahoma insurance law recognizes that insurance companies have a good faith duty to their customers. Merlin Law Group attorneys in Oklahoma work on what are called “bad faith” cases all the time. These cases should be called “lack of good faith” cases because there is no proof requirement that somebody was bad–just that they were not acting in the utmost of good faith and fair dealing.
Continue Reading Wrongful Denial or Delay by Your Insurance Company in Oklahoma? Insurance Companies Have Good Faith Obligations and Can Be Held Accountable