All Texas residents who purchase insurance expect the coverage to be honored when they need to file a claim, but the truth about insurance companies is that they are always focused on reducing claim values as much as possible when processing the submission. Insurance providers are in business to generate a profit, and they are all successful to varying levels. This is accomplished through detailed evaluation of damage claims focusing on any element of the claim that could support a denial of responsibility or reduced level of coverage. The good thing for insurance consumers is that there is an insurance commission oversight board in each state that they can contact when their insurance company is possibly acting in bad faith.
Keeping a detailed record of contacts is essential for those filing insurance claims. Even when initial communication is a phone call, it is important to make a note of what was discussed and how the insurance provider responded in the conversation. Actually, the insurance company will more than likely record even the very first phone contact regarding the issue. Claim denials will be issued in writing and in specific wording explaining their reasoning. The amount of time between the report and the response can be important too, as state laws require a response within a reasonable time frame from insurance companies.
Claimants who have been denied coverage or have been offered a settlement well below the actual value can then issue a written demand letter to the insurance provider explaining why the claim is more valuable or that a claim denial is indeed unreasonable. This letter is documented evidence that will be important when a bad-faith lawsuit is filed in the event the insurance provider continues to contest the claim. Exhausting all negotiating steps beforehand is a vital element of a bad faith insurance claim.
The final step after all negotiations are fruitless is filing a complaint with the Texas insurance commission agency, which can be done with or without assistance from an attorney. Claims involving personal injury should be represented by a designated personal injury attorney who understands how to maximize damages and what constitutes bad faith by insurance providers. Claimants should understand these claims are usually strongly contested, and the Texas attorney chosen to represent the case could matter significantly.