Dealing with an irate insurance company is never nice, because it typically means you were in an accident and your property was destroyed, or even worse, you were harmed.
You want to get back to your normal life as soon as possible after the occurrence, but what can you do if your insurance company is taking an eternity to process your claim?
There are a few things you can do to speed up the claims process, but if you have all of your ducks in a row and the insurance company is still dragging its feet, you may have a bad faith claim on your hands.
If you believe your insurance company is stalling or delaying your claim for no reason, contact an experienced Colorado bad faith insurance attorney as soon as possible so that we can put pressure on them to pay up your compensation in a reasonable amount.
The good news is that Colorado law allows you the power to sue insurance companies that deny or delay payment without good justification. Don’t let them put a hold on your claim any longer; contact Rector Stuzynski LLC now for a free case evaluation.
Steps To Take If Your Insurance Company Is Stalling
If you are sure your insurance company is stalling your claim, there are steps you can take to get them moving faster. If you are not sure if they are stalling, read on to the next sections for clues that may give you a better idea on the situation you’re dealing with.
- Inquire with your insurance company if they require any further paperwork, images, or information in order to process your claim.
- During the waiting time after filing a claim with your insurance carrier, be sure you don’t lose any proof supporting your claim.
- Get quotes from different contractors, repair shops, or services you may need to get your property damage corrected immediately so you can detect if your insurance company is attempting to underpay you.
- Check in with your insurance carrier on a frequent basis to see how the claim is progressing and to obtain information about the claim. Is there anything else they require? What is it that is taking so long? When will I receive my check for the damage? At what time will the insurance adjuster arrive to assess the damage? All of these are important questions to ask, and you should keep track of their answers as well as the times and dates of your phone calls so that you can show you had these discussions if necessary.
- If you’re still having trouble, write a demand letter claiming that you’ve been waiting far too long and it’s badly affecting your life.
- It’s time to get your attorney involved. If you have gone through all of these steps and your insurer is still stalling, you need to call a bad faith insurance lawyer right away and have them handle the claim for you. We have decades of experience getting insurance companies to pay their fair share and will make sure you get what is owed to you in a timely manner by taking your insurance company to court if necessary.
Signs That Your Insurer Is Stalling Your Claim
If you don’t deal with insurance companies every day, it can be tough to spot their tendencies when trying to stall your claim. As the person in need of the repair money, it can be very easy to just accept what they give you as quickly as possible. Don’t fall for their tricks; read over this list so you can spot the signs of stalling as they happen.
- The insurance company is requesting documents one at a time rather than all at once.
- They quickly dismiss a perfectly reasonable allegation.
- requesting needless paperwork and documentation on a regular basis.
- Several phrases imply that the corporation has yet to make a decision in your case.
- Requesting medical records that are unrelated or intrusive
- Request supplementary statements from service providers regarding your medical treatment or property damage from the claim on a regular basis.
- falsely informing you about the laws governing your case and how it is handled, or outright lying about these laws.
- Your insurance adjuster is ignoring your calls or failing to reply to your attempts to reach them.
- You change insurance adjusters on your claim several times in the hopes that the adjusters will accept your claim.
Why Your Insurer May Be Stalling Your Claim
You’re probably confused as to why your insurance company might be delaying your claim, but there are actually many reasons that companies do this, and it’s usually so they can pay less money to their policyholders. Some of the most common reasons for insurance companies stalling claims are as follows:
- Deny all claims right away so that some claimants give up and don’t pursue a payment from the insurer, leaving them to pay for valid claims that were covered by their policy out of pocket.
- Delay the claim as long as possible in the hopes that you will drop it or that they will make you wait long enough for you to accept lower compensation because they know you need the money immediately to get your life back on track.
- Adjusters can be downright stupid at times. We’ve seen this happen before, where an adjuster didn’t comprehend the client’s demands or even the laws that obviously applied to their situation.
- Because evidence might get lost or decrease with time, waiting for long periods of time can sometimes aid the insurance companies. Time can work in the insurance company’s favour.
- Allowing enough time to pass since the incident may give the corporation the ability to refuse to pay your claim. This is where the statute of limitations comes into play, and it can either assist or hinder you. Most insurance policies state that you have one year from the date of the incident to file a claim, but the statute of limitations may say otherwise depending on the nature of your claim and what state you are located in.
Why do insurance companies delay?
There are a few reasons why insurance companies delay claims processing:
- They’re waiting on important documents: Sometimes, your insurer simply hasn’t yet received necessary documents, like medical records or the accident report from the police. Do your best to ensure that you don’t cause any delays yourself, sending over accident photos, adjuster reports, medical records, witness contact information and estimates for repairs when you’re asked. Document the time and date you sent records.
- They’re investigating your claim: Don’t take this too personally, as insurers will investigate many claims—even for minor damage—due to the volume of fraud they experience. This should be a quick, efficient process on their end, however.
- They are delaying on purpose: Your insurer has an obligation to work with you, just as you have an obligation to provide them with requested documents. (This is not the case for an at-fault driver’s insurer—more on that later.) If your insurer is acting in bad faith, however, they may try to drag out your claim for so long that the evidence is gone, you give up, or you accept a low, unfair settlement offer.
How Long Can They Legally Delay Your Claim?
Colorado has some fantastic laws in place to safeguard insurance company clients. When you tell your insurance company of a claim, they have a legal obligation to swiftly evaluate the claim and pay you what you are due as the insured.
The criterion for determining when a firm is behaving in bad faith, or denying or delaying benefits in an unreasonable manner, is not black and white, but rather depends on the facts of each specific dispute.
The type of accident, the amount of damages, whether the wounded person had a pre-existing condition, and even the quantity of insurance coverage available are all factors to consider.
If you feel like your insurance company is treating you unfairly in evaluating your claim, by either paying out less than you feel they owe, taking too long to make an offer, or even outright denying payment all together, reach out to an experienced Colorado Springs bad faith insurance attorney at Rector Stuzynski LLC for a free consultation and advisement.
Common Types Of Claims Insurers Stall On
Unfortunately, insurance companies are notorious for stalling on claims no matter what type of issue they are dealing with.
We have seen this a lot from victims of accidents to homeowners and more, yet it is as common a practice as ever for insurance companies and probably always will be as they try to protect their bottom line. Below are some of the most common types of claims that we find insurance companies stalling on.
- Homeowners’ insurance claims
- Commercial property owners’ insurance claims
- Auto, truck, and motorcycle accident claims
- Hail and storm damage claims
- Personal injury claims
What to Do When Your Claim is Delayed
It is essential advised that you work with a personal injury lawyer in New York if you wish to bring a bad faith claim against the insurance company.
The insurance company will have teams of lawyers ready to defend their case, and you should retain legal counsel as well. Still, there are things you can do to help accelerate your claim and eventual compensation in the meanwhile.
Your claim paperwork will provide you the best opportunity of challenging an insurance company that is dragging its feet on your claim. In a safe place, keep all of the images, medical documents, quotations, estimates, and reports from the insurance adjuster.
When the insurance company claims they don’t have the required documents, you’ll be able to send them out immediately away, preventing further delays.
You’ve probably already spoken to an insurance company two or three times when they’re stalling or attempting to deny your claim. It’s critical to take thorough notes each time you speak with them. Make a list of who you spoke with at the company, what you said, and when you spoke with them.
Insurance firms may frequently direct you to a variety of people in the hopes that you would become fatigued or confused, so jeopardising your own claim. Any notes, emails, or text messages from the insurance company should be kept alongside your other vital records.
Lastly, it’s important that you cooperate with the insurance company as best you can. If you’re dealing with your own insurance company, this is a legal obligation. If you’re working with someone else’s insurance company, you do not have the same obligation.
Regardless of whether you’re dealing with your own insurance company or another, it’s important to work with a personal injury lawyer in New York that can protect your rights.
Doing Their Due Diligence Before Paying Out
If you have a valid insurance claim, you might be confused as to why the insurance company is investigating your claim so much. This is very common when an insurance company suspects fraudulent activity or has reason to believe your claim is being made based on an event that may not have actually happened.
There are so many fraudulent claims that it is very normal for insurance companies to investigate even the smallest claims so that they can make sure they are only paying out settlements on valid cases.
In many cases, there may be delays due to the insurance adjuster’s schedules and availability, especially during times where there were a significant number of other parties affected by the same incident.
Other times your insurance company may just be waiting to get information from a police report or are still trying to track down the individuals who were at fault in your case.
There are many different reasons why your insurance company may be stalling, and some of them may amount to bad faith. Generally, quick conversation with an experienced attorney can shed some light ion thesituation.
At Rector Stuzynski LLC, we are happy to set aside time to talk to you about your potential bad faith insurance claim and give you the expert advice that we are known for. Initial consultations are always free, and our firm will not charge for bad faith insurance claims unless we recover money for you.
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