People often overlook a fundamental fact about insurance: every dollar the insurance company pays out to the insured is a dollar less that the insurer gets to keep. In other words, the insurer-insured relationship is always economically adversarial to some degree.
Why Hire Our Attorney?
Choosing your attorney takes researching different options and selecting the best one for you. Each situation is unique; however, all claimants should look for attorneys with relevant experience, a proven track record of success, and the personnel to make you feel confident during the claims process. At Surrano Law Offices, we have earned a reputation in Arizona and around the U.S. for our outstanding results and dedication to client success. Why do clients choose us?
- We have years of experience handling all types of insurance claims: personal injury, bad faith, car insurance, life insurance, property insurance, etc. We have everything you need for strong legal representation during your insurance issue.
- We only practice insurance claim law. Our attorneys have dedicated their professional lives to insurance bad faith law. We have an intimate and thorough knowledge of the subject to help you strengthen your claim.
- We operate on a contingency fee basis. You will only have to pay for our legal services if we secure a financial award on your behalf. If you do not get paid, neither do we. We aim to ensure our legal services are available to everyone.
It is important to hire an insurance attorney that gives you peace of mind. Your lawyer should communicate openly with you to answer all your questions and concerns. You should never be in the dark about the status of your claim. Surrano Law Offices gives each case and client undivided attention. You will speak directly to your personal attorney, not a paralegal or assistant. We are here for you in your time of need.
Why Choose a Bad Faith Lawyer?
An insurance companies lawyer can give you information about your claim that you might not otherwise have had. Your insurance company might be keeping you in the dark, but your lawyer will be open and transparent about what is happening to your claim. Your attorney can correspond with the insurance company, speak to claims adjusters, and get to the bottom of why you received a denial or delay. Then, your attorney can take legal action on your behalf in pursuit of fair financial recovery. You do not have to deal with a bad faith insurance company alone.
Contact an attorney immediately once an insurance provider has treated you in bad faith. You cannot expect the company to turn around and deal with you fairly after denying your claim without cause. Do not try to right their wrongs by yourself. Instead, hire a bad faith attorney to go up against the insurer on your behalf. Your bad faith lawyer can motivate an immediate change in attitude on the insurance company’s part. The insurer will have to take your case seriously and provide a valid reason for the claim denial – or else pay you what it owes. Your lawyer will take care of the difficult work for you.
How to File a Lawsuit Against an Insurance Company
You must first file a claim with the insurance company before you can file a lawsuit in Arizona. You or your lawyer can initiate the claim through letter, phone, or email. The claim must state that you believe the insurance company’s original decision is incorrect according to the terms of the policy. If the insurance company tries to use a loophole or strategic argument to get out of paying you, you may then file a lawsuit. Work with an attorney throughout the legal process.
An attorney will help you navigate the insurance laws of Arizona or your state. This will help determine your legal options. Then your lawyer will try to negotiate a settlement with your insurance company before filing a lawsuit. If this fails, your attorney will file a claim with the correct county courts. An administrative hearing or appeal may then ensue, after which the insurance company may reverse its decision. If not, your lawyer will take your claim to the next level – a bad faith trial.
Marketing vs. Paying
Insurance companies need people to buy their policies, of course. And they operate in a crowded market: many insurance companies sell policies that are remarkably similar in terms of what is and isn’t covered. So insurers tend to emphasize concepts such as protection, security, and reliability when they advertise their products. Their ads and their sales force all emphasize the benefits that you, the insured, will get from buying a policy from them, your “friend.”
While you are paying premiums, the insurance company remains happy to see you and happy to see your money. If you’re lucky, years may go by before you have to file a claim under the policy. At that point, you may notice an immediate change in attitude, and you will begin dealing with people you’ve never heard of before: the adjuster, the investigator, and the claim manager. You have gone from being a source of revenue and referrals to a potential expense—the larger the claim, the larger the potential expense. In fact, you and all the other people who filed claims may prevent the insurance company from meeting its company profit goals, and may prevent various officers and employees of the company from achieving their own financial goals, bonuses, raises, etc.
The Claim Process
When you file a claim, it goes to the insurance company’s claims department. This may be a part of the insurance company, but these days it may well be a separate company that handles claims for insurers. In either case, the claims department may be understaffed and will, in all likelihood, have policies in place for deciding how to analyze, investigate, and settle claims. Those policies reflect the business interests of the insurer and, if there is one, of the separate claims handling company.
Large claims and claims that seem “fishy” to the person in charge of your claim file will be investigated much more thoroughly. That investigation will, in all likelihood, include an adjuster who tries to verify the facts about the claim and makes an estimate of how much the claim is “worth”—defined as the amount the insurer thinks the claimant will accept.
The adjuster may be employed by the insurer or be “independent.” In either case, the adjuster will have some authority to settle your claim. Experienced, trusted adjusters may be able to settle without consulting the claims manager; others will report their recommendations to the manager and await further instruction.
Adjusters are notorious for discouraging claimants from getting a lawyer. The typical approach is to emphasize how much it will cost to hire legal help and claim that you will be far better off by taking the adjuster’s settlement offer: you’ll end up with more money overall, and you’ll get it more quickly.
Or course, the insurance company may simply deny your claim on any one of several grounds: the loss isn’t covered by the policy, you didn’t do something you were required to do in order to make a claim, and so on.
When Do You Need A Good Insurance Claim Lawyer?
The adjuster and the claim manager know insurance far better than you do. You should immediately find an attorney who knows as much or more about insurance as they do whenever:
- You feel you’re being “low-balled” by the adjuster (there’s a reason he doesn’t want you to get a lawyer)
- The claim denial isn’t adequately explained
- The claim is denied for reasons that seem contrary to the facts
- The insurer is dragging its feet in making a decision about the claim, for no good reason
If you’re in any of these positions, call the Surrano Law Offices today and tell us about your claim. We have decades of experience dealing with the insurance industry, and we know how to get what you deserve from your insurer. We are located in Phoenix, Arizona and handle insurance bad faith claims nationwide.