How to File a Complaint Against an Insurance Company
When an insurance company infringes upon your rights through unfair or unethical delay-and-deny tactics, take action. A bad faith insurance complaint can hold the insurance provider accountable for wrongdoings against you as a policyholder. It could also help you obtain the financial recovery you need to move forward after a serious accident or disability. Learn how to file a complaint against your insurance company according to the specifics of your policy. Get help from an attorney near you, if necessary.
Create a Record of Your Bad Faith Experience
First, start compiling evidence of the insurance company’s bad faith dealings with you or your loved one. Print copies of all notices, emails, and other communications you have received from the insurance company. Make copies of the front and back of your insurance card and your full insurance policy. If you exchanged correspondence with other people during your insurance claim, such as the driver of another vehicle, keep copies of these letters or memos as well. Put all the information connected to your original claim in one organized file to make it easy for investigators to resolve the matter.
File a Consumer Complaint
Next, file an official complaint with the Arizona Department of Insurance. Fill out the online Consumer Complaint form and attach any related documents. You will only have one opportunity to attach documents to your complaint, so only do so after you have scanned in all related items. You may contact the department at a later date if you need to send in additional documents related to your case.
The department will send your complaint to your insurance company and wait for a response. It will then review the insurer’s response according to applicable laws and requirements. If the insurance company has not met its legal obligations, the Department of Insurance will enforce corrective action. The Department of Insurance will investigate your claim and can help you get answers from your insurance company. It will not, however, file a civil claim against the insurer on your behalf or act as your legal representative.
Contact a Bad Faith Insurance Attorney
A consumer complaint is a great way to penalize an insurance company for bad faith dealings, but it will not result in financial compensation for your losses. You must contact an attorney for assistance with this party of your claim. An attorney can help you file a civil claim against the insurance company with the correct county courts. Taking legal action could result in a monetary award for the amount the insurance company originally should have offered you, plus additional damages for your trouble.
To obtain compensation for insurance bad faith, you and your attorney will need to prove that the insurance company breached the covenant of good faith and fair dealing. In other words, that the insurance company failed to fulfill its end of the agreement you had with the insurer through your policy contract. Your lawyer can help you provide evidence to the courts that the insurance company had no valid reason to deny your claim or not pay you what you required. Hiring an attorney can make the legal process easy on you and your family, and help ensure a fair case outcome.
Statute of Limitations on Bad Faith Claims
In Arizona, the statute of limitations gives two years to file most insurance bad faith claims. You will have two years from the date the insurance company wronged you to bring a civil lawsuit. If you do not know the exact date, use the date upon which you received your first denial for insurance coverage notice. The first notice of denial, or the first delay for a valid claim, will most likely be the day upon which the clock starts ticking to file a claim. Do not miss your deadline. Filing after the two-year mark almost always results in the courts refusing to hear your bad faith claim.