Living with a serious injury is bad enough, as it can reduce your income earning potential (if not hinder it entirely), result in costly medical and therapy bills and limit your ability to partake in the activities you love. Fortunately, many types of insurance cover the costs associated with personal injury or work injuries. Unfortunately, New Hampshire insurers are notorious for putting their bottom line before their customers by acting in bad faith. Bad faith insurance dealings are illegal, and it is important that you understand your rights. FindLaw gives a few examples of insurance bad faith.
Bad faith can occur in one of two ways. The first is that the insurer’s conduct was unreasonable and it either knew or wantonly ignored the fact that it was unreasonable. The second (which requires a lower standard of proof), is that the insurer unreasonably denied or delayed a benefit to which you, the insured, are entitled.
Though bad faith falls into one of the two aforementioned categories, it looks different in each case. For instance, an insurer may unreasonably delay paying a claim or reaching a decision. Insurers do this in the hopes that the claimant will just give up on the claim. To protect consumers from these types of bad faith dealings, most states now require insurance companies to reach a decision within 15 to 60 days.
Some insurers may also be so brash as to use deceptive practices. An example would be if your provider knew of existing coverage but failed to inform you of it so it would not have to pay you. Another example would be if your insurer fails to notify you of a filing deadline in the hopes that you miss it.
Another example of bad faith is a provider’s failure to conduct a thorough and proper investigation. Part of a carrier’s implied duty of good faith and fair dealings is for it to conduct a prompt and complete investigation.
If your insurer fails to pay you what your claim is worth, or if denies to pay your valid claim, it may be guilty of bad faith insurance. Likewise, if your insurer purposefully misinterprets the language of your policy, it may be in violation of its duty of good faith.
This article is for educational purposes only. You should not use it as legal advice.