Sue Insurance Company for Not Paying – Bad Faith Lawsuit

Across the country, the goal of insurance companies appears to be to never make good on their policy benefits. Whether in personal injury suits or worker’s compensation cases, insurance agents do everything in their power to find loopholes, exceptions, and exemptions that will allow them to not pay out any settlements. If that proves impossible, they try to offer meager sums that will not cover much of anything. At Normandie Law Firm, we feel this is a prime example of an immoral business practice, and the laws applying to insurance companies’ actions in good faith back us up. In Houston, the hurricanes that are hitting, Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, bring more than just high winds, heavy flooding, and potential property damage across the whole region – they also bring potential for insurance companies to skimp out on payments or avoid them altogether. Our clients will contact us wondering if there is anything they can do to prevent this from happening. They ask us questions like:

  • What is insurance bad faith?
  • What can I do about an insurance company not paying for home damage?
  • Where can I find help to sue the insurance company for bad faith practices?

Homeowner’s Insurance
Private homeowner’s or renter’s insurance covers many disasters that can happen. Hurricane insurance exists, for example. If a tree branch falls and damages your roof, your insurance company is liable to pay out the money required to fix it. If your house is struck by lighting and needs heavy repairs, you can expect a settlement from your insurance agent after a visit from an adjuster. Winds that uprooted trees and broke your garage door can be grounds for you to receive fair compensation and get a reinforced door this time around. Even wildfires that spread across the brush and damage your home can be covered under insurance.

Floods and damage from flood waters, however, are not covered by private insurance agencies; rather, they are covered under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The problem with this program is that it is a national program; as such, there are not enough funds to go around to adequately serve all of the victims of flood damage. This results in many families facing financial troubles. Flood insurance is not provided.

What private insurance companies do when hurricanes hit, or during hurricane season, is send out adjusters and agents who will investigate the premises and purposely misattribute damages on the property to flood damage as opposed to wind damage or other envivronmental factors. The claim is then pushed along to the NFIP and the insurance company can rest knowing it did not need to pay out anything more than it wanted to.

This practice is not uncommon amongst seedy insurance agencies, and it is illegal. Insurance companies are required to act in good faith with respect to their clients. Unsurprisingly, lying about the cause of damage in order to get out of paying a settlement falls under “bad faith.”

Insurance Bad Faith
An insurance company acts in bad faith when it fails to uphold its part of the agreement in an insurance policy for no good or reliable reason. Some examples of acts that constitute bad faith include:

  • Denial of policy benefits in any form
  • Not responding to a claim, whether to accept or deny it
  • Twisting, misconstruing, misrepresenting, deleting, or otherwise altering or hiding facts about a policy’s provisions to a client, as well as doing the same to details regarding a claim itself
  • Advising against hiring an attorney to represent you during a lawsuit
  • Failure to justify any reasons for denying, postponing, or changing a claim
  • Attempting to settle for low or reduced amounts that do not match the minimum amounts that were advertised or written on the original policy or application
  • Not settling a claim or parts of a claim when liability is clear

With respect to Houston and the current state of hurricanes, insurance companies are acting in bad faith by misattributing damages. Committing any of these acts – and there are many more – can put insurance companies at risk of being sued for bad faith practices.

Possible Restitution from Bad Faith Antics

As a result of these bad faith practices, you can earn numerous kinds of compensation. First and foremost, you should make sure to hire a lawyer who can file a lawsuit against the insurance company on your behalf, as you will need someone to do the negotiating, a person whose legal expertise is necessary in the courtroom – insurance agencies can spend lots of money and resources to fight claims, especially if they may take larger monetary hits than they initially intended.

If an insurance company misattributes damages to flood and water damage rather than to wind damage, you are eligible to earn compensation for a breach of contract. This breach of contract can net you the deserved settlement amount plus extra interest. Acting in bad faith can also net you bad faith damages, which include economic losses (unable to replace belongings or structures in the house because of the lack of insurance funding), emotional distress (worrying about how to pay for repairs, fretting over the repairs itself, general anxiety and such from the whole ordeal), and attorney’s fees (for lawyers who take on cases on a contingency fee basis). Ideally, a lawyer will also be able to argue for and win punitive damages, which are meant to punish the insurance agency. Punitive damages are usually awarded in the case of gross negligence or intention of fraud or malice. However, it should be noted that not all lawyers can adequately argue for punitive damages, and even if they can, some judges and juries believe the payouts determined without the punitive damages are enough to drive the point home.

How We Help You
If you are a victim of Hurricane Harvey or Hurricane Irma and your insurance company is doing everything it can to not pay out any settlement amount for damage to your home, contact Normandie Law Firm today. We promise to get to the bottom of the ordeal and will figure out if your insurance company is purposely misattributing causes of damage or is otherwise committing acts in bad faith.

Our goal is to keep you safe. We do not want you to be out of any money because a storm hit your home: we want you to have enough funds to repair your house and not be stranded elsewhere or living in destitution. You deserve compensation for damages that occurred beyond your control, and your insurance company owes you a due diligence to provide you with those funds.

Call our law firm today and we will give you a free legal consultation on your case. Our team of attorneys will be glad to give you all the information you need to get started on filing a claim, and we will be transparent with you all the way through the process if you choose us to represent you.

Further, Normandie Law Firm offers a zero fee guarantee on all cases we take on. You do not pay any out of pocket expenses for our legal services. If you are in need of compensation, we front all costs and only get paid if we win – and our fees come from the settlement itself. That way, you earn what you deserve, take no monetary losses, and have no risks by hiring a lawyer.

If you have been affected by any of the hurricanes in Houston and your insurance company is refusing to pay you a settlement, contact Normandie Law Firm today. If you have any other claims against an insurance company in general, and believe that the insurance company is acting in bad faith, we would also like to hear about it. Free consultations and zero fee guarantee.

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

© 2017Normandie Law Firm