Insurance Bad Faith Claims and Insurer’s Duty to Act in Good Faith
California law imposes an implied duty of good faith and fair dealing on every insurance policy based on fundamental principles of fairness. This requires insurers act in a fair and reasonable manner, and prohibits them from acting or failing to act in any way that would unreasonably deprive policyholders of their benefits owed under the policy. A breach of this implied covenant involves something beyond breach of the specific contractual duties or mistaken judgment.
Insurance Bad Faith
To establish insurance bad faith in first party cases (such as those involving life insurance, health insurance, disability/LTD insurance, property and casualty insurance, auto liability insurance, and homeowner’s insurance), it must be shown that an insurer’s delay or withholding of benefits under the policy was unreasonable or without proper cause. For instance, an insurer may quote “lowball” offers, unreasonably delay payment, and fail to conduct an adequate investigation or avoid paying a claim that should be covered. An insurer is also acting in bad faith if it conducts a biased investigation or fails to conduct a thorough investigation of your claim. See California Insurance Code section 790.03; see also California Business & Professions Code section 17200, et seq. For specific discussions, please see:
Recovery and Damages for Insurance Bad Faith
If your insurance company has acted in bad faith, you can bring suit for your policy benefits owed, plus emotional distress damages, consequential damages, attorneys’ fees, pre-judgment interest and punitive damages under California law. If the insurer acted in bad faith concerning your long-term disability insurance claim, you can also obtain future damages defined as all future disability benefits you would be entitled to under the disability in policy discounted to its present value.
Insurance Bad Faith Claims Denial Experience
McKennon Law Group specializes in litigating and resolving bad faith insurance claim disputes for individual and business policyholders. We have litigated and been consulted on hundreds of ERISA insurance, disability insurance, life insurance, health insurance, bad faith and other insurance matters. Because of our aggressive advocacy and our regional and national reputation as a leading insurance litigation firm, we are able to achieve maximum settlements and judgments/verdicts at trial.
We have been litigating ERISA insurance, disability insurance, life insurance, health insurance, bad faith and other insurance matters since 1986. Our attorneys are nationally recognized experts in insurance bad faith litigation and have chaired numerous seminars and written numerous articles dealing with insurance bad faith claim issues. Our attorneys are top rated by all major peer review rating agencies and have been honored to receive numerous prestigious recognitions. No attorneys in California or anywhere in the United States are better suited to litigate your bad faith or ERISA insurance claims. In fact, the attorneys of the McKennon Law Group previously represented the insurance companies that denied such claims, and thus have the broadest possible experience in litigating these types of insurance disputes. We can and will aggressively litigate your case to achieve maximum success. We have significant trial experience and we are not afraid to go to trial against the big insurance companies.
Contact us to schedule a free initial consultation regarding your insurance claim or litigation matter.
For a further discussion of Bad Faith, please see our FAQs.