How Could Concealment Affect Your Insurance Claim?
The average injury insurance claim comes with issues and complications that make it more difficult to obtain fair compensation for the client’s losses. If you get injured in an accident in Arizona, approach the insurance process with caution. One problem to look out for is the possibility of concealment. Concealment on your end or from the insurance company could negatively affect your insurance claim.
What Is Concealment?
Concealment from an insurance perspective refers to the hiding of facts or information that will directly affect the insurance rate, contract or benefits paid. It can refer to nondisclosed information or misrepresentation of fact. Concealment can describe giving a false answer to a direct question or failing to offer key information, even if the insurance adjuster did not ask a specific question. Both can impact the terms of an insurance policy. Most insurance companies view concealment as a misrepresentation of fact that can void the insurance contract. If concealment does void a contract, the insurance company will not have to pay out the claim.
Concealment Goes Both Ways
As the filing party, you could be guilty of concealment if you fail to disclose all the relevant facts about your injury or accident while knowing this will affect the insurance claim. If you intentionally withhold information that is key to the insurance company’s decision-making process, you have committed concealment.
If the insurance company discovers that you knowingly withheld pertinent information during your claim, it may have the right to refuse a payout. This could mean failing to receive financial compensation for your medical bills and other losses. You could also face penalties for fraud under Arizona Revised Statute 20-463, depending on the circumstances. Insurance fraud is the crime of presenting information with the knowledge or belief that it fails to state a material fact in regard to an insurance policy’s issuance, rate, benefits, premiums or terms.
You are not the only party who could commit concealment during an insurance claim. The insurance company and its hired claims adjusters could also conceal important facts from you that impact your claim. During the purchasing of your policy, for example, an insurance agent could intentionally conceal key information that might have impacted your buying decision, such as a lower-priced policy or one with better coverage.
It is against Arizona law for an insurance agent to conceal benefits, coverage or other policy provisions that are relevant to a claim from claimants. If an insurance agent does conceal key facts, you could have a case of insurance bad faith against the company. This is a type of civil lawsuit that could result in additional compensation from the insurance company for mishandling your claim.
When to Contact an Insurance Bad Faith Lawyer
It is important to vigilantly avoid concealment during your insurance claim. You must also, however, be careful with how much information you give an insurance adjuster. This is a fine line you must walk for a successful insurance claim. You may benefit from hiring a personal injury lawyer to help you negotiate with an insurance company. If concealment or another issue threatens to get in the way of your financial recovery, discuss your legal options with an insurance lawyer. This includes if you suspect insurance bad faith.
Bad faith refers to an insurance company knowingly or intentionally mishandling a claim or mistreating a client. It means the insurance company or its employee has not dealt with the claim in a good faith attempt to resolve the client’s complaint. Instead, the insurance company has handled things in bad faith, most likely to save its investors money.
Concealment is an example of insurance bad faith. If you suspect concealment on the insurance companies part – or any other example of bad faith – contact an insurance bad faith lawyer right away. A lawyer may be able to help you go up against the insurance company in pursuit of additional compensation for its misconduct.