What Is a Bad Faith Argument?
Every insurance company has a duty to treat claims from clients in good faith, meaning with honesty, transparency and per federal and state insurance laws. Insurance companies that handle matters in good faith accept valid claims, resolve them efficiently and offer reasonable settlement amounts. Unfortunately, many insurance companies prioritize their bottom lines over the wellbeing of claimants. This can lead to engaging in bad faith insurance practices, including bad faith arguments. If you suspect a bad faith argument from an insurance company, contact an Arizona insurance bad faith attorney for assistance.
What Does it Mean to Argue a Claim in Bad Faith?
An insurance company may make a bad faith argument for the sake of debating, not with the intent to resolve the claim or help the claimant. If an insurance claims adjuster argues in bad faith, he or she is doing so not to come to a mutual understanding, but to antagonize the claimant, derail the claim or save the insurance company money. A bad faith argument generally comes with the main goal of deceiving the claimant.
A bad faith argument may involve the insurance company making statements it knows are not true or intentionally misrepresenting facts. The insurance company may come off as if it is trying to help the claimant when in reality it is making a bad faith argument to waste time or otherwise hurt the odds of the claimant receiving a settlement. Bad faith arguments can cost claimants significant time and money.
What Are Examples of Bad Faith Arguments?
The most common example of a bad faith argument during an insurance claim is the claims adjuster or insurance agent arguing something he or she knows is not true, but that will financially benefit the insurance company for the claimant to believe. In other words, the adjuster will intentionally try to deceive the claimant to profit the insurance company. While any argument for the sake of arguing could qualify as bad faith, insurance companies often engage in certain types of bad faith arguments more than others.
- Disguising the core point of the argument
- Making an argument the adjuster does not believe to be true
- Making an argument that does not have evidentiary support
- Arguing an opinion or belief the adjuster does not hold
- Omitting or misrepresenting facts
- Emphasizing a point that is irrelevant to the claim
- Intentionally wasting the claimant’s time
- Outright lying
- Insulting the claimant on a personal level
A bad faith argument is often not a position the insurance company actually takes. It is a tool for wasting the claimant’s time, convincing the claimant of something false that will benefit the insurance company or otherwise deceiving the claimant for the good of the insurer. If you suspect a bad faith argument has occurred during your insurance claim, contact a bad faith lawyer right away.
What Can You Do About a Bad Faith Argument?
The moment you suspect an insurance company of using a bad faith argument during your claim, cease communications with the insurance adjuster and contact an attorney. Do not waste your time responding to a bad faith argument. Instead, work with a lawyer to get an honest and accurate evaluation of your case. Your lawyer will look out for your best interests, not those of an insurance company or another party. An attorney can help you disprove information the insurance company has assured you is true about your case, such as fault for a car accident.
If a lawyer finds evidence of insurance bad faith, the law
firm can help you bring a lawsuit against the insurance company to hold it
responsible for its actions. A bad faith insurance lawsuit could force the
provider to treat your claim in good faith. This may mean the insurance company
will offer a reasonable settlement when it previously denied your claim or
undervalued your losses. The insurance company may also owe you additional
compensation in fees, penalties or interest for initially handling your claim
in bad faith.