What if my claim has not been technically denied, but my insurance company will not pay?
Your insurance company should be on your side and be there to help, but that is not always the case. An insurance company may breach the policy of insurance or mishandle claims, even without a formal denial. If you receive a letter from your insurance company containing anything similar to the following statements, you should contact us for a free consultation:
- "No coverage for your loss"
- "Your policy has been declared void ab initio based on material misrepresentations in your application"
- "Your claim is denied based upon concealment of material facts"
- "Your policy was cancelled prior to the date of loss"
- "The terms of your policy require you to submit to an Examination Under Oath"
- "The terms of your policy require you to provide us with documents we request"
- "The circumstances of your loss fall within an exclusion in your policy"
- "This letter serves as a reservation of our rights to later deny coverage."
- "Damages in this case may exceed your available policy limits."
- "You may wish to retain personal counsel."
Am I required to give a recorded statement to an insurance company?
It depends on which insurance company is asking. If your own insurance company is asking for a recorded statement from you, there may be provisions in the policy under headings such as, "What You Must do After a Loss" or "Cooperation with Us" which require that you give a recorded statement. Exactly what is and is not required depends on the exact wording of the policy. Insurers may attempt to abuse or misinterpret the provisions of the policy.
If the insurance company for the person who injured you wants a recorded statement, you are not required to comply. You may have nothing to hide, but remember, insurance adjusters are highly skilled at what they do. Sometimes the questions they ask are designed to reveal only information that helps their company, not you.
All insurance adjusters (yours and theirs) are ethically prohibited from requesting statements from you while you are in shock or serious mental or emotional distress from the trauma associated with the loss.
If in doubt about whether to give a recorded statement, postpone a response to the requesting adjuster, and contact us for a free consultation.
Regardless of whether or not you decide to give a recorded statement and to whom, you should make a written request for a copy of the transcript.
How do I know if my insurance company is acting in "bad faith?"
Insurers are supposed to fairly evaluate claims, and may request your cooperation and information from you in order to do so. Bad faith can occur if an insurer wrongfully refuses to pay a claim, as well as, any number of unreasonable claim-handling procedures. If your insurer becomes unreasonable by:
- Continuing to request information that has been provided or that does not exist;
- Taking sworn statements from you and everyone you know;
- Ignoring your calls or letters about the status of your claim;
- Trying to force you to jump through unnecessary hoops;
- Pressuring you to accept less than the fair and reasonable amount of your loss;
A Civil Remedy Notice of Insurer Violation may be appropriate. If you are being victimized by unreasonable requests from your insurer, you should contact us for a free consultation.
How can I afford an attorney?
With their financial resources, corporate defendants and insurance companies can afford to pay their attorneys an hourly fee, some even receive a salary. Since most individuals and smaller businesses cannot afford to pay an attorney by the hour, they opt for a contingency arrangement.
Under the contingency arrangement the policyholder or injured person does not have to pay any money up front to hire the attorney, pay an hourly fee or pay the costs of pursuing the recovery. Instead, the attorney invests his time and advances the costs, and is only paid for his time and reimbursed for his costs if there is a recovery. Additionally, when a claim involves insurance benefits, the law may provide for attorneys fees and costs to be recovered above the contractual damages. These provisions recognize that the policyholder should not be deprived of a percentage of his insurance benefits when forced to hire an attorney.
Are you related to Richard Mulholland?
For those of who have lived in or near Tampa, Florida for the past 40 years or so, the name Richard Mulholland may sound familiar. Richard Mulholland is known through years of advertising as a personal injury attorney. He is no relation to Jason Mulholland, nor is his law firm in any way affiliated with this firm.
For additional information concerning these and other questions, please contact us for a free consultation.