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Everett Spokane Seattle

Insurance companies have deep pockets and one way they keep those deep pockets is by paying out as little as possible on insurance claims. Unfortunately for policyholders who pay their insurance premiums in exchange for accident and damage protections, sometimes they do not receive the protections to which they are entitled and their claims are wrongly denied or only partially paid. Even more unfortunate is that many people think that they have to accept their insurance company’s decisions and they do not know that they have recourse when insurance companies treat them unfairly.

Insurance companies have a duty to act in good faith and when they breach that duty, insureds can make a claim against their insurance companies. When making a bad faith insurance claim, it is not necessary to show that an insurance company acted dishonestly or intentionally; in Washington it generally just needs to be shown that an insurance company acted unfairly and that it put the insurance company’s interests ahead of its policyholder’s interests. If you believe that your insurance company has treated you unfairly, contact our Federal Way insurance bad faith attorneys to schedule a consultation.

Washington bad faith laws

When a plaintiff successfully brings a bad faith claim against an insurance company, the insurance company has to pay the original claim amount that should have been paid to the plaintiff under the insurance policy and additional costs they may also have to pay are listed below:

  • The plaintiff’s litigation costs including attorney’s fees. This is a major cost for an insurance company that already has to pay for its own costs of litigation.
  • In some cases the claims adjustor/s who treated the insured unfairly may be personally liable. This should be a concern to both insurance companies and individual claims adjusters.
  • Along with litigation costs, attorney’s fees, and the original claim amount, a plaintiff may be awarded compensation in the amount of up to three times his or her actual damages.

Types of insurance bad faith

You would think that the above financial risks would prevent insurance companies from acting in bad faith, but as our Federal Way insurance bad faith attorneys know, insurance companies are still not learning their lesson because they still regularly represent new policyholders in bad faith insurance claims. Frequent types of bad faith conduct include:

  • A failure to follow up on an insurance claim or simply ignoring a policyholder’s claim.
  • Unreasonable delays in paying or investigating a policyholder’s claim.
  • Failure to conduct an investigation into a claim before denying it.
  • Misrepresenting the policyholder’s actual coverage or failing to provide insurance policy documents at a policyholder’s request.
  • Failure to pay a valid claim or failure to pay a fair amount for a policyholder’s claim.

If you believe your insurance company has treated you unfairly, contact our Federal Way insurance bad faith attorneys at Russell & Hill, PLLC. You rightfully expect that your insurance company will honor your insurance policy for your claims. When that does not happen, our attorneys will work to see that you receive the compensation to which you are entitled.

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