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When you pay for insurance, you do so because you know that accidents happen. Whether you are insuring a vehicle, boat, home, or even yourself, you do so with the expectation that the insurance company will pay for a claim when the time comes.

Unfortunately, there are times when insurance companies do not adhere to their end of the agreement and decided not to pay for a claim or refuse to defend you in claims made against you. Do you know what to do if this happens to you?

When you need an Everett bad faith insurance attorney, turn to the knowledgeable and experienced team at Russell & Hill, PLLC. They will fight for your rights against irresponsible insurance companies.

What Can Happen

When it comes to settling claims, insurance companies are the ones making the decisions. They have the experience and financial resources, which is why policyholders get insurance policies in the first place. Because of this, the courts recognize that insurance companies should operate in good faith when upholding their end of the agreement.

We know one thing – it is the goal of all insurance companies to pay the least amount possible for each settlement.

If your insurance companies fails to act reasonably at any time during a claim process, you have the right to file a lawsuit.

So, how would this look? These cases usually look for two elements:

  1. If you have a valid claim under the terms of your policy and the insurer withholds benefits and
  2. The reason for withholding the benefits was unreasonable.

In Washington, the state recognizes an independent common law cause of action for bad faith against an insurer. They say that to succeed on a bad faith claim, “a policyholder must show the insurer’s breach of the insurance contract was unreasonable, frivolous, and unfounded.”

The state law also says an insurer may be held liable if it fails to treat the policyholder’s interests equal with its own or fails to properly investigate a claim on the policyholder’s behalf.

What Are Your Options

If you have been denied a claim by an insurance company, or an insurance company decided not to defend you in violation of agreed upon terms, seek legal assistance. There are variety of tactics that insurance companies can use that could constitute bad faith, so it is always wise to let an attorney examine your case.

When you enter into a contract with an insurance company and become a policy holder, you have certain rights. If the company violates those rights, they open the door to both a tort claim as well as a breach of contract claim. Due to the ability of a policy holder to file a tort claim, they may have to pay out damages to the “injured” party.

If you need a bad faith insurance attorney in Everett, you can count on Russell & Hill, PLLC to be by your side. You can contact us for a free consultation by clicking here or calling 425-728-7467.

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