What Does the Term “Bad Faith” Mean in Regard to an Auto Insurance Claim?
After a car accident, you call your insurance company so an adjuster can come evaluate your vehicle for your claim. You think they’ll inspect your damages honestly, but instead they report that there is less damage to your car than is visible. When you make an auto insurance claim, you expect the insurance company to operate within your contract. So what happens when they don’t? That’s called bad faith.
More than just negligence, bad faith means conduct that is intentionally unethical by not fulfilling a legal obligation as outlined by a contract. If an insurance company denies your claim based on misleading reasons, denies you benefits that were owed under your policy, fails to process your claim quickly, refuses to respond to your claim, intentionally mishandles the processing of your claim, or a claim adjuster is dishonest in your evaluation, then you could have a bad faith insurance case.
What to Do If You Think You Have a Bad Faith Insurance Claim
When the insurance company you were trusting to help you with your claim does the opposite, you might not know what to do. The company might advise you not to seek out a lawyer, but you shouldn’t follow their advice. If you file a claim against them, they might even offer you a settlement that is less than you deserve, but you shouldn’t rush to settle just because you want the ordeal to be over.
Corban Gunn, Attorney at Law, can guide you through the next steps as you file a bad faith insurance claim. As an experienced bad faith insurance lawyer, he will support you through this confusing time and ensure that you get the full compensation that you deserve by examining any loopholes in your contract that allowed the insurance company to take advantage of you.
Here are the steps you will need to take when an auto insurance company has failed to follow your contract:
- Review your contract with your insurance company
- Keep documentation of your claim and any proof of the damages
- Keep documentation of your claim denial
- Send a written final demand letter to the insurance company
- Contact the Mississippi Department of Insurance to file a complaint
- Contact a Mississippi bad faith insurance attorney to pursue a lawsuit
Mississippi Auto Insurance Laws
Before you even get into a car accident that does enough damage to warrant filing an insurance claim, you should know what auto insurance is required by Mississippi law. According to the state Department of Insurance, you legally need a minimum liability coverage of:
- $25,000 per person in a single accident
- $50,000 per accident for bodily injury
- $25,000 per accident for property damage
These requirements can be met in our state by showing proof of insurance, posting a bond for these amounts, or making a cash deposit equal to these amounts.
Other than the required minimums of auto insurance that you must have, you are also required to have an insurance card or access to your insurance card information readily available in your car. Following House Bill 621, if you do not have your insurance card in your vehicle, you can be fined $1,000.
Corban Gunn, Attorney at Law Can Help You
When you have to file an insurance claim after a bad car accident, you’ve already got enough on your mind. You’re trying to figure out what happened, who’s responsible, and wondering how expensive the damages to your car are going to be to repair. You file an insurance claim so that you can reap the benefits of the contract that you pay into in case of this exact scenario. You don’t even think about the added stress of your insurance denying your claim.
Corban Gunn, Attorney at Law, will tackle the legal side of things of filing a bad faith insurance claim against your insurance company so that you can focus on healing from the crash. As an experienced bad faith insurance lawyer, you can rest assured that your case will be handled with extreme diligence and care. Reach out to our office so that we can discuss your potential claim today.
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