Bad Faith Insurance Practices
Insurance is often designed to be sold, not bought. That basic principle is never more true than when an insurance company wrongfully refuses to cover policy holders for their loss. Texas law provides that insurance companies may be liable for bad faith when they violate the duty of good faith and fair dealing owed to policy holders. In particular, an insurance company may violate its duty of good faith and fair dealing by delaying and denying payment for damages despite actual or constructive knowledge that coverage for an insurance claim is reasonably clear. Policy holders may be entitled to recover exemplary damages and attorney’s fees for prosecuting bad faith insurance claims.
The Texas Insurance Code also prohibits deceptive insurance practices. If insurance companies do not attempt to bring about a prompt, fair, and equitable settlement of a claim despite reasonably clear liability or despite settlement demands within policy limits that would be acceptable to a reasonably prudent insurer, an insurance company may have violated the Texas Insurance Code. Insurance companies may also be liable for failure to conduct reasonable investigations or promulgating false and misleading statements of loss.
Insurance companies are also subject to strict deadlines to timely investigate and pay claims. The Texas Insurance Code imposes substantial penalties on insurance companies that violate important deadlines such as investigating claims, reserving rights, or paying covered claims.
The lawyers at Burdine Wynne have successfully represented numerous commercial and individual policy holders in bad faith insurance claims, coverage disputes, and deceptive insurance practices. If you are involved in an insurance claim dispute with your carrier, put our lawyers to work for you.