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Insurer refused your claim? It could be bad faith insurance

An accident results in injuries that must be compensated. An illness hospitalizes a person and the bills quickly begin to pour in. A disaster strikes West Virginia and causes damage to homes. Policy holders expect their insurance companies to reasonably cover costs and damages protected by their insurance, but many people are left frustrated when companies refuse to pay out. Unfortunately, many people are under the impression that what the insurance company says goes, and are unaware of the concept of bad faith insurance.

Insurance companies are required to fulfill certain duties when covering their policyholders. These include the duties to investigate, indemnify, defend and reasonably settle, and must be met throughout the course of a policyholder's claim. When an insurer does not carry out one of those duties, it can be considered bad faith insurance.

These duties all require different action from an insurer. The duty to investigate requires an insurer to fully investigate a claim in a timely manner, while the duty to indemnify requires that it pays a settlement judgment or agreement against its policyholder. Ultimately, an insurer might be considered bad faith if it refuses to reasonably act on an policyholder's claim.

Many people in West Virginia spend a significant amount of their income on insurance policies, ranging from health to car insurance and anything in between. Policyholders have a reasonable expectation that their claims will be handled appropriately. When insurance companies fail to do so, they may be violating bad faith insurance laws. Victims of bad faith insurance are not without options, and many choose to sue their insurer to pursue recovery of related damages.

Source: FindLaw, "What Is Bad Faith Insurance Law?", Accessed on Oct. 30, 2017

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