In theory, insurance is meant to provide a safety net, offering peace of mind and financial security in times of need. However, there are instances where insurers fail to uphold their end of the bargain, acting in bad faith to the detriment of policyholders. Understanding what exactly constitutes insurance bad faith in Oklahoma, recognizing its signs, and knowing how to respond are all crucial for protecting your rights and seeking appropriate remedies.

What is Insurance Bad Faith?

Insurance bad faith occurs when an insurance company fails to fulfill its obligations to policyholders in an unfair or unreasonable manner. This can happen in several ways, including unjustified claim denials, inadequate investigations, delayed payments without explanation, or offering settlements far below what is reasonable.

In Oklahoma, insurers are legally obligated to act in good faith, meaning they must handle claims reasonably, honestly, and promptly. When they fall short of these standards, policyholders suffer the consequences, facing financial losses and undue stress.

Examples of Insurance Bad Faith

Examples of insurance bad faith in Oklahoma can range from straightforward denials of valid claims to more subtle tactics that undermine the policyholder’s rights. 

These may include:

  • Unjustified Denial of Claims: Rejecting a claim without a reasonable basis or explanation.
  • Delayed Investigations: Protracting the claims process unnecessarily, causing financial hardship.
  • Underpayment of Claims: Offering settlements that are far below the value of the claim, exploiting the policyholder’s vulnerability.
  • Misrepresentation of Policy Terms: Providing misleading information about coverage or policy benefits.

The Impact of Insurance Bad Faith

The consequences of insurance bad faith can be severe. Policyholders may struggle to recover financially from losses that were supposed to be covered by their insurance policies. Emotional distress and uncertainty about the future are common outcomes when insurers fail to honor their commitments. This is completely unacceptable behavior from a company that policyholders pay money to with the expectation these things won’t happen. And it often makes an already stressful situation much worse. 

Signs of an Insurer Acting in Bad Faith

Recognizing the signs of insurance bad faith is essential for protecting your interests and finances after a claim. Here are some red flags to watch out for:

  • Lack of Communication: Ignoring or avoiding correspondence regarding your claim.
  • Unreasonable Delays: Taking an unusually long time to process a claim without justification.
  • Lowball Settlement Offers: Offering significantly less compensation than what is warranted based on the policy and damages.
  • Changing Reasons for Denial: Providing inconsistent or evolving reasons for denying a claim.

What You Can Do

If you suspect that you are a victim of insurance bad faith, it is crucial to take action promptly:

  1. Document Everything: Keep records of all communications with your insurer, including emails, letters, and phone calls.
  2. Review Your Policy: Understand your coverage and the terms of your insurance policy to ensure you are well informed about your rights.
  3. Seek Legal Advice: Consulting with an experienced insurance bad faith attorney can clarify your situation and help you determine the best course of action.

Get the Right Attorneys on Your Side 

Insurance bad faith can have devastating consequences for policyholders who rely on their insurers during challenging times. By recognizing the signs of bad faith and seeking legal assistance when necessary, you can assert your rights and pursue fair compensation. 

Overman Legal specializes in protecting the rights of Oklahoma policyholders. Our team has a deep understanding of insurance laws in the state and a proven track record of holding insurers accountable for their actions. If you believe that you have been mistreated by your insurance company, don’t hesitate to reach out and set up a free consultation to discuss your case so we can provide guidance on how to proceed.

When insurers act unfairly, you have rights. Overman Legal is here to protect them. 

Contact us today for a free consultation.