Not only do we rely on insurance as a financial safety net, but it is often required by law and unavoidable in many situations. Unfortunately, insurance companies are not always honest about how they work, and claimants and policyholders usually suffer for it.
An unfortunate problem that comes up in many claims against insurance companies is misrepresentation. An insurance company might misrepresent its own policy regarding your injury claims to avoid paying your compensation. Often, misrepresentation involves providing false or misleading information about what the policy does and does not cover. If you believe your insurance company has intentionally mispresented its policy on your claims, you and your attorney can file a lawsuit for bad faith dealings. However, speaking with your lawyer about your claims is important, as there might be other reasons for the misrepresentation that could affect your case.
Start your case with a free evaluation of your claims and insurance policy with our Maryland insurance denial attorneys by calling Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291.
Speak to an Attorney if You Believe an Insurance Company Has Misrepresented Its Policy on Your Injury Claim
Dealing with insurance can be difficult for several reasons. First, the process of filing a claim can be very complex, and the smallest mistake could delay your claim. Second, if you believe the insurance company is not playing fair, you might feel totally trapped. After all, this is a big insurance company with far more resources and knowledge about insurance than you have, and challenging them might feel futile.
If you believe the insurance company misrepresented your policy and is now trying to evade paying, the first thing you should do is call a lawyer. Your insurance policy is much more than an explanation of when the insurance company must pay for your injuries. It is a legally binding contract. If the insurance company intentionally misrepresents its own policy, it might be in breach of the contract, and you can sue for damages.
Possible Legal Action When an Insurance Company Misrepresents Its Policy on Your Injury Claim
Numerous legal claims might be available to you if your insurance company intentionally misrepresents its own policy. Insurance companies often do this to get out of paying, which means people who need financial compensation have to go without. Not only can you sue for the compensation you should have received but were wrongfully denied, but you can also claim damages you incurred because you had to scramble to find other options.
One option is to sue the insurance company for bad faith dealings. Bad faith dealings might include various actions an insurance company takes to purposefully deceive or cheat claimants and policyholders.
Exactly what bad faith dealings look like may vary from case to case, making it even more important to talk about your situation with an experienced lawyer. One example would be the insurance company misrepresenting policy limits. For example, you might have paid for an insurance policy with a $1,000,000 limit, but the insurance company claims the limit is only $500,000. A big red flag indicating bad faith is a faulty explanation. If the insurance company cannot explain why their policy limit is lower than you were led to believe, they might not be telling the truth.
Depending on how the insurance company misrepresented its policy, it might also be liable for breaching the contract (i.e., the policy itself). How a breach of contract is resolved often depends on the terms of the policy. For example, certain policies have terms and conditions regarding things like arbitration or mediation rather than lawsuits. Review your policy with a lawyer to determine the best way to handle your case.
Reasons Why Insurance Companies Might Misrepresent Their Policies on Injury Claims
A big part of your lawsuit will be figuring out the nature of the insurance company’s misrepresentation. While misrepresentation is sometimes an intentional act of bad faith, it might also stem from errors, mistakes, or misunderstandings.
Errors and Misunderstandings
The insurance company’s misrepresentation of your policy may be rooted in an error or misunderstanding of the policy by an insurance representative. For example, perhaps you know your policy has a limit of $1,000,000, but the insurance agent handling your case is mistakenly referencing outdated information or old policy terms.
In these situations, you might not have to file a lawsuit to get the compensation you need. Instead, you can bring the mistake to the insurance company’s attention so they can correct it. Unfortunately, this plan might not go as smoothly as you would hope. Insurance companies do not like to admit when they make mistakes because it makes them vulnerable to legal liability. You and your attorney might have to take the insurance company to court just to prove they made an error.
Another possibility is that there was some mistake with your policy. Perhaps you intended to purchase an insurance policy for $1,000,000, but there was an error on some paperwork or forms, and now your policy limit is only $100,000. A misplaced comma or decimal could make a huge difference in your policy limit.
While this might seem like an innocent mistake, it might be hard to correct. The insurance company will not want to increase your policy limit because they know it will cost them more money. On top of that, once they realize they have made a mistake and the problem is their fault, they might still choose not to fix anything. At that point, their mistake becomes an intentional misrepresentation and might be considered bad faith dealings.
Bad Faith Dealings
As discussed earlier, your insurance company might have been scamming you this entire time. Such bad faith dealings are not unusual in the insurance field. Not all bad faith dealings involve outright lies or deception. Instead, many bad faith claims involve insurance companies using convoluted rules and procedures to confuse claimants and customers until they can trick them into an expensive policy that does not cover their injuries. The insurance company will likely claim that they technically did nothing illegal, but your attorney can help you assert your rights and protect yourself.
Speak to Our Insurance Denial Attorneys About Your Claim
Start your case with a free evaluation of your claims and insurance policy with our Maryland personal injury attorneys by calling Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291.