What is an Unfair or Bad Faith Claims Settlement Practice?

If you are involved in an automobile accident and file a claim with your insurance company (or the insurance company of the other driver who caused the collision), Colorado law mandates that the insurer address your claim in a timely and fair manner. In this day and age it has become something of a cliché for insurance companies to fail to timely and fairly investigate and resolve a valid claim.

If you find yourself dealing with a claim, you need to understand the basic concept underpinning unfair or bad faith claims settlement practices. Two of the more common types of unfair or bad faith claims settlement practices undertaken by insurance companies involve unduly delaying the investigation and resolution of a claim as well as an inappropriate, unfounded denial of payment on a valid claim.

An insurance company is entitled to a specific period of time to investigate the merits of any claim that you submit. In addition, an insurance company is entitled to obtain additional time to investigate a claim if a valid reason exists for doing so. However, that insurance company must provide you with notice of its need to extend the investigatory period.

Insurance companies relatively routinely abuse this process by needless delaying the process. The objective is to “wear you down” and force a settlement of your claim for a low dollar amount or to force even the complete abandonment of a claim.

In other cases, an insurance company consistently offers a consumer an unreasonably small settlement offer, knowing full well the damages and injuries are far more costly. Again, this inappropriate strategy is designed to force you to settle your claim for a far lesser amount than which you are entitled.

Depending on the circumstances, and the overall conduct of an insurance company in this regard, these activities can amount to what is known as illegal bad faith or unfair claims settlement practices. In order to protect yourself against these types of illicit activities on the part of insurance companies, you are wise to engage the skilled services of an experienced personal injury attorney in the aftermath of an accident.

The law firm of Harding & Associates is highly experienced in taking the offense against insurance companies that engage in bad fair or unfair claims settlement practices. Our legal team can schedule a no-obligation, no-cost initial consultation at your convenience. Call us at 303-762-9500 or 800-878-7888, or email us at info@hlaw.org, to schedule an appointment