Business owners who have suffered from flood, fire, theft or another type of liability often turn to their insurance provider to help see them through the difficult times. Insurance is supposed to provide peace of mind when the unexpected happens. Sadly, many insurers can cause business owners unneeded stress and anxiety by denying or delaying otherwise legitimate claims. Here's a look at just a few bad faith tactics some insurers may try to use against small business owners.
A common delay tactic used by some insurers is to keep demanding more paperwork from claimants. While the insurer may claim that the additional paperwork is needed in order to process the claim, in many cases these demands are designed only to wear down the claimant in the hopes that he or she will accept a lower settlement.
Failure to respond
Another delay tactic that a commercial insurer may use is to simply make themselves slow to respond to the claimant. This slowness could include taking a long time to respond to phone calls made by the claimant or taking too long to properly investigate a claim.
Failure to pay
Once a settlement has been agreed to, the insurer is required to pay the claimant according to the terms of that settlement. Unfortunately, even after a settlement has been finalized, some insurers will still find bad excuses to delay or deny payment.
The first settlement offer that the insurer makes will almost always be lower than what that insurer is ultimately willing to pay. While such a tactic is common and allows the insurer and claimant room to negotiate, in some cases the insurer's initial offer will be especially far below what the claimant actually deserves. This tactic is partly designed to discourage the claimant and make him or her think that he or she deserves much less than originally thought. That way, even if the settlement is negotiated upwards from the initial low offer, the final payout will likely be much lower than what the claimant deserves.
Dealing with bad faith insurers
A denied or delayed insurance claim can put business owners in a tight spot and may even force them to close their business outright. For business owners that may have been victims of an insurer acting in bad faith, help is available. At Weisberg Law, our attorneys have represented individuals and businesses who have been denied a fair settlement by their insurers. By contacting us today, we may be able to help you fight for the compensation you may ultimately deserve.