You purchase insurance in the hopes that you will never have to use it. However, if some type of accident occurs and you need to make a claim, you want the insurance company to treat you fairly and provide you with fair compensation, especially since you likely pay a significant amount of money for your insurance premiums.
For example, South Carolina residents paid an average annual premium of $1,269 for homeowners insurance in 2017, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Sadly, many accident victims find out just how unfair the insurance system can be when they try to make a valid claim after paying years of premiums.
A Myrtle Beach insurance claims attorney from George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers can provide you with capable legal representation through the life of your claim. Our lawyers are committed to resolving your insurance claim and potentially achieving a positive outcome for your claim.
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Common Insurance Disputes
Insurance disputes may arise for a number of reasons between an insured and their own insurance company. They can also occur in situations in which an accident victim files a third-party claim with the insurance company that covers the at-fault party, such as in the event of a car accident.
Insurance disputes may arise regarding:
- Whether insurance provides coverage based on the type of claim
- Policy limits
- The repair company or contractor chosen to complete repairs
- The amount of compensation
- How long the claims process is taking
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Why Insurance Claims May Be Denied
Insurance claims may be denied for a variety of reasons, such as:
- No insurance coverage is available to cover the claim
- The insurance policy has lapsed
- The insurance adjuster interprets the policy language differently than the claimant
- The insurance company does not have enough information to make a decision
- The insurance company has received contradictory statements about how the accident occurred
- The insurance company claims that the injuries or damage was less serious than the victim alleges
- The insurance adjuster blames the injuries or damage on another cause
While some of these reasons may be valid, in other cases, they may be a pretext to the insurance company denying your claim while really acting in bad faith. Insurance companies stay in business by paying out less in claims than they receive in premiums.
Insurance adjusters are trained to carefully scrutinize claims and try to find any plausible reason to deny the claim in the interest of maximizing the insurance company’s profits. When the adjuster cannot justify denying the claim, he or she may do everything to minimize the value of the claim.
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Signs of Insurance Bad Faith
Insurance companies only look out for their interests and sometimes act in bad faith. Sometimes, an insurance company might try to rip you off outright. Some signs that the insurance company may be acting in bad faith include:
- The insurance company denies your claim for no apparent reason
- The insurance company denies your claim for a reason that does not apply to your case
- The insurance company does not send out an adjuster to investigate your claim
- The insurance adjuster refuses to return your phone calls or answer questions
- The insurance adjuster refuses to explain your coverage or policy limits
- The insurance adjuster asks for the same information repeatedly or irrelevant information to needlessly deny the claim
- The insurance company is taking more time than necessary to delay the claim and get you to feel desperate and accept a claim
- The settlement offer made by the insurance company is well below your damages
If you feel that you have encountered one or more of these situations, George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers has expert Myrtle Beach insurance claims lawyers who may be able to help with your claim.
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South Carolina Bad Faith Insurance Law
South Carolina Code §38-59-20 sets out prohibited practices by insurance claims that constitute bad faith. These include:
- Knowingly misrepresenting the facts or policy provisions related to coverage
- Failing to acknowledge communications from claimants in a timely manner
- Failing to adopt and implement reasonable standards for prompt investigation into claims
- Not trying to resolve claims in a prompt and fair manner
- Offering substantially less than the value of the claim so that claimants must take legal action to recover compensation
- Offering to settle claims for less than the amount that would be due based on the likelihood of a claimant hiring a lawyer and therefore having to pay attorney’s fees to recover the full amount
- Threatening to raise policy defenses or rescind the insurance policy if the claimant does not accept a settlement offer
Additionally, the statute states that “any other practice which constitutes an unreasonable delay in paying or an unreasonable failure to pay or settle” claims is considered bad faith.
How a Myrtle Beach Insurance Claims Lawyer May Be Able to Help
Insurance companies hope that claims go unchallenged so that they can take advantage of claimants who do not realize their rights or the full value of their claims.
Our insurance claims lawyers in Myrtle Beach may be able to help you level the playing field against the insurance company. We may:
- Review your insurance policies for coverage and details about policy limits
- Review the letters you have received from the insurance company and supporting documentation you have supplied to the insurance company
- Communicate with the insurance company to clear up misunderstandings and provide supplemental information
- Estimate the real value of your claim by determining your total losses and the costs to repair or replace your property
- Work with appraisers and other professionals to negotiate a fair settlement of your claim
- Analyze whether there are arguments for a bad faith claim against the insurance company
- Take your case to court if the insurance company continues to be unreasonable
We may be able to help protect you from being unfairly treated by the insurance company and fight for your just compensation at every stage of your claim.
Contact Our Personal Injury Team Today for Help
A Myrtle Beach insurance claims lawyer from George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers is ready to potentially help you obtain fair compensation after filing a claim. Our lawyers work on a contingency-fee basis, so you are not responsible for any attorney fee payments until you receive compensation for your claim.
We can discuss how we can help and what your rights are during a free consultation that you can arrange by calling us or filling out our online form.
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