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Your Rights Against Insurance Companies
Pennsylvania Law allows individuals to sue insurance companies for claim denials or claims handling if the insurer can show that the insurer acted without a reasonable basis in handling or denying a claim under the policy. The insured must show that the insurer’s evaluation of the claim was “less than honest, intelligent, and objective” or that the insurer acted with contempt toward the individual insured.
Types of Remedies Available
In an action arising under an insurance policy, if the court finds that the insurer has acted in bad faith toward the insured, the court may take the following actions:
- Award interest on the amount of the claim from the date the claim was made by the insured in an amount equal to the prime rate plus three percent
- Punitive damages
- Assess costs and attorneys’ fees against the insurer.
Examples of Bad Faith Conduct by an Insurance Company
- Lack of investigation and failure to communicate
- Offering unreasonably low settlement amounts
- Causing unreasonable delay in the handling of a claim
- Denial of automobile medical benefits
Advantages of Having Early Representation
Bad faith behavior can be obvious but, often times is the result of ongoing dealings with an insurance company. As a result, it is always helpful to have a lawyer involved once you think an insurance company is not treating you fairly. The lawyer may be required to take over communications with the insurance company and those communications must be handled in a certain manner. Also, there is a two-year statute of limitations in a bad faith case from the discovery of the bad faith action.
Contact Caputo & Mariotti as soon as possible if you are dealing with an insurance company. Let us negotiate or communicate with the insurance company because we have the prerequisite amount of knowledge to communicate with the insurance company so that in the event there is a case, the foundation will be set.