Under California law, every insurance contract contains, in addition to the express terms of the contract, an implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing
, the violation of which constitutes bad faith
. The insurer’s duty of good faith applies to every insurance claim except those preempted by the federal law of ERISA. Bad faith is defined as the unreasonable denial of insurance benefits, and exists where the insurance commits acts that place its own interest over and above that of the policyholder. In so doing, the insurance company may be responsible not just for the benefits that it has improperly denied, but also damages caused to the policyholder for the consequences of the denial. These include emotional distress, attorneys fees, lost financial and business opportunities, damage to credit, and punitive damages.
Examples of bad faith conduct are an insurer’s failing to promptly and thoroughly investigating support for an insured’s claim, selecting only evidence that supports a denial of the claim while ignoring the evidence supportive of a policyholder’s entitlement to benefits, and raising non-material, hyper-technical grounds for denying a claim.
We are experienced in assessing and prosecuting all types of these issues that may not only entitle our clients to the benefits they bargained for when purchasing their insurance, but also obtaining damages to compensate for the harm suffered by reason of the claim denial.
We don’t let insurance companies take advantage of you!