When a business suffers serious damage, getting a quick fix is crucial. Without it, the amount of lost business alone can end up being more than the original damage. Of course, that’s why businesses buy commercial insurance. It’s also why the failure of a business’s insurer to fulfill its obligations can be so devastating.
Why Choose Us for a Bad Faith Claim?
- If your business is struggling because of a bad faith insurance claim, Surrano Law Offices can help. Bad Faith Insurance Claims are all we do. We have the experience and the focused expertise your business needs to deal with your insurance company.
- Our track record speaks for itself. We are winners, and in turn, so are our clients. We bring in high-value settlements for the individuals and companies that we represent.
- Let our knowledge of how insurance companies operate work for you. We do not accept their denial of valid claims. We have strategies to ensure our clients the most generous offer possible.
Unfortunately, many commercial casualties also involve large dollar amounts, giving the insurer an incentive to drag its feet. That may happen for several reasons:
- The insurer wants to keep its money as long as possible; as long as they have the money, it is drawing interest and working for them, not you.
- The insurer hopes to exert pressure to induce a settlement on favorable terms; or
- The insurer is genuinely interested in making sure that everything is in order before it forks over that huge sum of money.
The first two put the insurer’s own financial interest ahead of the business’s legitimate interests under the policy and can form the basis for a bad faith claim.
Getting equipment, fixtures, and so forth back into use is vital. Getting compensation for the amount of lost business until that happens is equally vital. Denying the claim, delay in paying the claim, and paying less than it will take to make the business whole all make life miserable for a going commercial concern. And all may provide the basis for a claim of bad faith against the insurer if the motive for denial or the handling of the claim is improper. The sooner the facts get into the hands of experienced lawyers who know the ins and outs of both bad faith law and commercial insurance, the better off you will be.
Signs that Your Insurance Company is Acting in Bad Faith
You may be dealing with a bad faith insurer if they fail to pay a legitimate claim. The company may owe you punitive damages if this is the case. Punitive damages provide you with compensation and punish the insurance company for their unjust practices.
Here are some actions to be aware of if you suspect your insurance company is acting in bad faith.
- Lack of communication
- Delaying payment for a valid claim
- Denying a claim without a cause
- Canceling or making changes to your insurance policy
- Compelling their clients to accept unjust offers
Business Interruption Claims
The business interruption coverage can be particularly thorny given the inherent subjectivity of estimating how much business there would have been. But getting that money may be all that keeps the insured from going under.
In commercial policies that provide separate compensation for salaries and wages, any delay can prevent the business from paying staff, and paying staff may be all that keeps the staff from moving on.
When it comes to business interruption insurance, the majority of disputes center on accounting and financial data. Understandably, the insurance company is reluctant to simply accept the records and conclusions of the business’s accountants. Delays often occur when the insurer’s own accountants dispute the basis for the amount of the business interruption claim. However, if the insurance company is really operating in good faith, it will at a minimum work with you to expedite payment of the amount that the insurer doesn’t dispute. That usually allows the business to keep its head above water.
How Commercial Businesses Are Impacted by Insurance Companies Acting in Bad Faith
When an insurance company acts in bad faith, the impacts can destroy the business they were hired to protect. Business owners sometimes attempt to repair or salvage their business using their personal savings. Loss of income can force a company to close its doors.
A business may need settlement money to provide its employees and customers with a safe environment. Sometimes, replacing or repairing equipment and buildings can force businesses out of operation. This means laying off valuable, experienced employees.
The harm that an insurance agency can do by behaving in bad faith can be detrimental to a business. We understand how insurance should take care of you and are here to fight for your business.
Simply recovering the amount that the insurer should have paid doesn’t necessarily make the business whole. Damages for bad faith in handling commercial insurance claims should include the amounts that the business lost because it did not have the insurance proceeds it should have had when it needed it. Figuring out what those losses are can be a very difficult process. In some cases, punitive damages and attorney fees may be recoverable. It helps tremendously to have the aid of attorneys who are highly experienced in these kinds of cases.
For example, one consequence of commercial insurance claim delays is the effect that may have on the ability of the business to arrange financing for rebuilding efforts and the like. So long as the insurance recovery is uncertain, lenders may be wary of advancing the funds the business needs, and the lack of financing may itself cause still more losses. Even if lenders do agree to finance rebuilding efforts, the uncertainty surrounding the insurance recovery may prompt the lender to charge a higher rate of interest.
How a Bad Faith Insurance Attorney Can Help
Big insurance companies have strategies in place that keep money in their pockets. If your business is impacted because your insurance company is acting unlawfully, you need a bad faith insurance attorney.
An experienced attorney has the knowledge and experience to recognize which tactics are being used to avoid payment and to do something about it. Businesses can go under quickly without a prompt, fair settlement after filing a claim.
A bad faith insurance lawyer will investigate your case and the response and behavior of your insurance company. They will understand if your insurance company is acting unlawfully, and they will work to prove it. If your insurance company is acting in bad faith, you will often be awarded the damages you were originally entitled to as well as punitive damages.
Punitive damages are a way of offering you compensation for your inconvenience as well as punishing the insurance company for their unlawful actions. Punitive damages work as a deterrent for insurance companies who are tempted to act in bad faith.
Contact us Today if You Suspect Your Insurance Company of Acting in Bad Faith
If your commercial insurance claim has been denied or delayed for questionable reasons, call the team at Surrano Law Offices and tell us where things stand with your insurer and your business. We have decades of success in bad faith claims and we know how commercial insurance works. With offices located in the Phoenix area, we handle insurance bad faith claims throughout Arizona. We have fee arrangements for every need, including, in some cases, a contingency fee agreement. So, contact us today.