After an accident, you may be frustrated or confused about why your insurance company won’t settle a claim. They may deny compensation after a car accident, or a fire in your home. Businesses deal with this same problem, often costing them tens of thousands of dollars in losses.
At the Saxton Law Firm, we know what you are going through. We pursue insurance companies who wrongfully deny your legitimate claim. Our Kansas City, MO team will help you throughout the legal process to help enforce your rights.
Why Do Insurance Companies Refuse To Settle?
An insurance company often denies a claim for one simple reason: to save themselves money. This is often at your expense, especially after a valid claim. Insurance adjusters are trained to look for excuses to avoid payment, delay your investigation, and refuse settlement.
Insurance companies may deny settlement for some of the following reasons:
- They claim you failed to answer questions about the claim
- They claim you did not file the correct paperwork
- They request an unreasonable amount of documentation or proof of your claim
- The insurance company takes too long to investigate your claim
Many types of insurance companies use these excuses and tactics. Car insurance, homeowner’s insurance, and even business insurance coverage is often denied for inappropriate and often illegal reasons. When this is the case, you have to protect your rights through the legal process.
Vexatious Refusal to Pay
Missouri Revised Statutes 375.296 and 375.420 provide Missouri residents a right to hold insurance companies responsible for bad faith refusals to settle claims. Common examples of bad faith refusal to pay include:
- Denial of your claim based on unfounded suspicions unsupported by facts
- Refusing to pay a claim even after the insurer knows there is no meritorious defense
- Insufficient investigation into the claim
- Actual fraud, malice, or discrimination
Vexatious refusal to pay, also known as bad faith, can be a powerful legal tool to help enforce your rights.
Proving a Bad Faith Insurance Claim in Missouri
If your insurance company refuses to settle, their choice may be in bad faith. To prove a bad faith claim, the plaintiff must demonstrate that:
- There is a legal claim under an insurance contract between the insurer and a Missouri resident
- The insured waited at least 30 days before filing a bad faith lawsuit
- The requested claim was properly payable under the terms of the policy
- The insurance company refused to pay a claim within 30 days
- The payment refusal was “vexatious and without reasonable cause”
Bad faith claims are powerful tools to help enforce a claim, when they apply. Not every wrongful claim denial is necessarily bad faith, but many are.
What Do I Do After the Insurance Company Refuses to Settle?
There are several steps you can take to protect your rights when an insurance company refuses to settle. First, speak with an insurance litigation attorney. An experienced lawyer understands the many nuances of these laws, how to prove your case, and how to maximize your potential compensation.
You can also file a complaint with the Missouri Department of Insurance if you feel your insurance company violated your rights. The Department investigates consumer complaints against insurance companies and works to resolve those complaints whenever possible.
You should also keep all records, documents, and other information related to your claim. Preserving evidence can help you and your attorney prove that you are entitled to your insurance proceeds. Keep everything surrounding your insurance claim, and let your attorney determine what will help your case.
Insurance companies are supposed to treat you fairly and ethically. The denial of your claim could be in bad faith or be some other violation of your rights. Let our Kansas City insurance denial attorneys fight for you. Contact Saxton Law Firm for a FREE case review!