What Are Stall Tactics?
Contrary to what your policy states, your insurance company may not want to protect your rights or cover your damages. Instead, it may use common delay, deny and defend tactics to get out of paying for your damages after a serious accident. No amount of coverage will help you if your insurance provider engages in bad faith practices. If you suspect an insurance provider of intentionally using stall tactics to avoid paying you what your policy says you deserve, speak to an attorney.
Signs of Stall Tactics and Bad Faith
Stall tactics are intentional strategies a bad faith insurance company might use to avoid or delay a payout to a covered claimant. Bad faith refers to any action or omission that goes against the insurance company’s duties of care to its claimants. Bad faith can refer to fraud, misrepresentation, improper investigations and many other unfair or dishonest tactics. Look out for signs an insurance company may be using stall tactics to avoid paying you.
- It misses the deadline to respond to your claim or says it never received the claim
- It assigns many different adjusters to your case
- It denies your claim without a valid reason
- It requests an unnecessary or unreasonable amount of information from you
- It asks for an extension without a good reason
- It takes too long with the investigation phase
- It avoids your phone calls or emails
- It refuses to offer a fair settlement
- It takes longer than two weeks to issue your settlement check
An insurance agent called a claims adjuster will be in charge of your particular case. The adjuster could use stalling tactics to convince you to settle for less than your case is worth. Most adjusters know how desperately claimants need the money and count on this to motivate the claimant to accept a low settlement – especially after the adjuster has made the claimant wait an unreasonable amount of time for an offer or response. The goal of stall tactics is to aggravate the claimant enough to reduce the value of the final settlement.
Your Rights as a Client
The law protects you from insurance bad faith. If an insurance company is guilty of using stall tactics or other methods to avoid handling a claim fairly, it could face enforcement actions from the Arizona Department of Insurance. Report the insurance company to the department by filing an official bad faith complaint. The department will investigate the insurance company and may force it to handle your claim more fairly. The insurance company may face repercussions for not meeting its legal obligations, such as fines and penalties. A bad faith insurance lawyer can help you protect your rights after experiencing stall tactics.
How To File a Claim for Stall Tactics
If reporting your insurer to the Arizona Department of Insurance does not force it to remedy the situation, the next step is pursuing a civil action against the bad faith insurance company. A bad faith civil claim pursues financial compensation for your lost benefits. Additional compensation may also be available, such as reimbursement for legal fees and court costs. In general, you have two years to file a bad faith insurance claim in Arizona. An attorney can stand by your side during the claims process.
A bad faith attorney can take care of filling out paperwork, filing a claim and proving insurance bad faith on your behalf. A lawyer can gather information about the insurance provider and your particular claim to prove to a judge that the insurance company has been using stall tactics. If the court rules in your favor, it could force the insurance company to pay what it owes. A bad faith insurance lawyer can help you understand the potential value of a lawsuit against an insurance company in Arizona as well as how long your claim might take to settle or resolve.