San Diego Insurance Coverage and Bad Faith Attorneys

What constitutes insurance bad faith, and what actions can a policy holder take when a valid claim is denied by an insurance company?  Here are several Insurance Bad Faith FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) about Insurance Coverage and Insurance Bad Faith:

  1. Did Your Insurance Company Deny Coverage on a Clearly Covered ClaimWhat is a “Cumis Counsel?” – A “Cumis Counsel” is an independent counsel who represents the specific interests of a policy holder during an insurance related lawsuit. California law recognizes that the lawyers for the insurance company have a built-in conflict of interest between defending you and the actual “policy” of the insurance company.  If they can find a reason to blame what happened on your negligence or an action not covered by their policy they are in fact protecting the interests of the policy itself.  You are allowed to retain the Watkins Firm as your own attorney known as a “Cumis Counsel.”  We represent you, personally, and protect your interests to make sure the insurance company lawyers keep your best interests in mind while settling the case.  The cost for our services must often be paid for by your own insurance company.
  2. What Constitutes “Bad Faith?” – There are many actions an insurance company can take that will constitute “Bad Faith” under California’s complex insurance laws. In essence, insurance bad faith exists when an insurance company fails to provide fair coverage or settlement for a valid claim.  The actions of an insurance company may also constitute “Bad Faith.”  Any attempt to intimidate the policy holder, mislead them about coverages provided within their policy, or lack of prompt processing and settlement of a valid claim may constitute “Bad Faith.”
  3. What Actions Can a Policy Holder Take if They Believe the Insurance Company may be acting in Bad Faith? – A policy holder has the right to correspond with their insurance provider, and can author a strongly worded letter that notifies the insurance company of their concerns, while requesting additional information about the lack of progress on a valid claim, an unfair settlement offer or intimidating behavior. You may even choose to report the insurance company to the California Department of Insurance and file a formal complaint.  As your representative, the Watkins Firm can advise you of your legal rights and the actions necessary to hold the insurance company accountable for their coverage and associated actions.
  4. Are there times when an Insurance Company and Policy Holders Disagree? What happens then? – The disagreement between a policy holder and their insurance company may not rise to the level of “bad faith.”  However, there are times when the attorneys representing the insurance claim a policy does not cover a specific set of circumstances when in fact the policy terms and conditions clearly do provide coverage.  The Watkins Firm insurance attorneys review policies and the facts surrounding a claim to determine if, in fact, the insurance company is responsible to approve and settle the claim per the terms of the associated policy.
  5. What is a “Reservation of Rights” Letter? – Insurance companies will send a “Reservation of Rights” letter when they are unsure if they will actually provide defense or coverage under a policy. They may agree to represent you in a claim action or lawsuit, but reserve the right to continue evaluations of your coverage or refuse to cover part or all of your claim at any point in the future.  This strategy leaves a policy holder vulnerable under the law, and if you receive a “Reservation of Rights” letter you may wish to contact the Watkins Firm to evaluate your legal options.

For additional insurance bad faith FAQs we invite you to visit our blog.

Contact Experienced San Diego Litigation and Insurance Attorneys

If you believe your insurance company is not acting fairly, promptly or has taken actions which you feel may represent insurance bad faith we invite you to contact us or call 858-535-1511 for a free consultation.  You may require a breach of contract lawsuit, cumis counsel, insurance coverage review, or strong legal representation who will protect your interests and negotiate a settlement that achieves your goals and objectives.  The Watkins Firm has served the San Diego community for decades.  You can trust us to review your policy coverages, provide sound counsel and effective representation in insurance bad faith and related matters.

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