What is Punitive Damage Lawsuit?Punitive damages are an age old common law tort action allowing recovery from individual and companies that have participated in or undertaken certain actions deemed to be reprehensible to society at large. There are specific Federal, California, Common law and Constitutional guideline delineating caused of action which can bring forth a justified punitive damage claim against insurance providers for denial of coverage. Common Law: Under common law there is an implied duty of good faith and fair dealings which insurance companies must abide by. California: The state of California was one of the leading forces behind insurance bad faith regulatory and litigation measures to impede the growth of wrongful insurance denials. California Insurance Code Section 790-790.15 the basis for insurance bad faith punitive damages claims in the state of California. Denial of Claim to First Party Insurance holder: Denial of a rightful claim by an insurance company without a reasonable basis for its denial, or failing to properly investigate the claim in a timely manner can be a basis for an insurance bad faith claim from the insured party. Deceptive tactics used by insurance carriers to deny recovery of an insurance claim There are many deceptive strategies that are wrongly utilized by insurance carriers to deny policy claims. Some of the leading tactics use are provided below.
- Failing to affirm or deny coverage of a claim within a reasonable time so that the statute to payment runs its course
- Misrepresentation of facts so as to mislead claimants of their right to coverage
- Misrepresentation of the laws and specific policy terms to mislead
- Attempting to settle a claim by an insured for less than the amount to which a reasonable person would have believed he or she was entitled to based on the advertising material provided.
- Failing to properly investigate the claim
- Unreasonable demands by the insurance company to the insured for proof of damages
- Not disclosing policy limits
- Improper denial tactics such as lying, misleading, aggressiveness, and other coercive measures