Fresno Bad Faith Insurance Attorney

For years you have given a significant portion of your earnings to insurance companies who promised to protect you and your family in the event of misfortune. You insure your vehicles for damage or loss, and for liability as required by California’s Compulsory Financial Responsibility Law. You insure your home as required by your mortgage company. If you are self employed, you insure yourself for disability. To protect and care for your family, you purchase life and health insurance. If you have a business or profession, you insure those areas of your life as well.

Insurance is a contractual promise made by an insurer to protect you from claims made against you, and/or to compensate you for losses you suffer. Policies often are written to protect and/or care for additional people and entities, such as relatives living in your home, and passengers in your car. Exclusions are written into policies to identify persons and claims not covered under the policy. It is imperative that the purchaser of an insurance policy understand who and what is and is not covered when insurance policies are purchased. If your policy is unintelligible, have an attorney review it with you.

Inherent in every insurance contract is a covenant of good faith and fair dealing – a requirement that the insurance company not protect its own interests over its policyholder’s interest. When an insurance company violates this covenant, the policy holder may sue their insurance company for bad faith insurance practices.

Like every for-profit corporation, insurance companies are in business to make money. Regrettably, this causes most insurers to make decisions based upon maximizing the company’s profit rather than protecting, caring for and compensating their policyholders. Common incidents of bad faith insurance practices include:

  1. failure to provide health care;
  2. failure to fully investigate claims;
  3. failure to meaningfully and fully defend liability claims and lawsuits;
  4. failure to pay judgments;
  5. failure to pay proper value for injury claims;
  6. failure to pay proper value for property claims;
  7. failing to make reasonable settlement offers;
  8. failing to settle claims within policy limits;
  9. unreasonably delaying settlement or payment of claims; and,
  10. litigating claims for improper purposes.

Where an insurance company has committed bad faith against an insured, it may be subject to punitive damages (a monetary award to the insured intended to prevent future acts of bad faith by the insurance company).

Netzer & Malmo attorneys regularly utilize the exposure of bad faith litigation against insurance companies who put their interests ahead of the interests of their insured to compel insurance companies to make good on the promises they made when selling insurance, and to maximize the recovery of N&M personal injury clients. As a result, insurance companies have paid settlements and judgments far in excess of the applicable policy limits to our clients.

If you believe an insurance company has violated its duty of good faith and fair dealing, or if you want attorneys who will compel each insurance company to act in good faith throughout a personal injury claim, the Netzer & Malmo personal injury team is available to evaluate your case. Please contact us now to discuss your matter. No payment is required to discuss the merits of your case, and no legal fee is owed unless and until a financial recovery is made for you.