Many New Yorkers use taxis and public transportation to get around because the cost of car ownership is astronomical. Insurance alone can be pricey. The average New Yorker pays $1,234.84 per year for car insurance, which is more than the national average of $889.01.
For those who do own vehicles, they may be surprised by how they are treated by their insurance company in the event of a car accident. Given that they pay so much for insurance, they likely expect to be treated fairly; however, this is not always the case.
Insurance companies care only about one thing: their bottom line. When they have to pay out a claim, they lose money. Therefore, they sometimes resort to tactics that are dishonest in an attempt to delay or deny claims.
This is called bad faith and it is against the law. Therefore, if you believe you are a victim of bad faith insurance practices, it is important to contact a Manhattan car accident lawyer who can protect your rights.
Proving Bad Faith
Insurance companies must act in good faith at all times. If you believe your insurer is acting in bad faith, it is up to you to prove two things:
- Your insurance company withheld benefits that were due to you based on the policy, and
- Benefits were withheld for an unreasonable reason.
Based on your state, there may be other elements that need to be met before you can file a lawsuit. Also, you cannot claim negligence as the reason why your benefits were withheld.
Common Bad Faith Tactics
Insurance companies use a variety of tactics to avoid having to pay up. For example, they may delay and deny a claim altogether, but without good reason. An insurer legally cannot do this if the claim is valid.
Insurance companies are also known for making lowball offers, which means they pay a claimant far less than what the claim is worth. They may also claim that the policy was altered or revised without your consent. They may also claim there was a lapse in coverage.
Using illegal methods of investigating claims is another bad faith tactic. Insurance companies may also harass the victim or ask them to submit unnecessary documentation in order to cause a burden and wear down the victim so they will ignore their claim and move on. They may even go as far as to threaten the victim or accuse them of committing a crime.
Contact a New York Car Accident Attorney Today
An auto insurance company is supposed to handle all claims fairly. It does not matter who is at fault for the crash or how much damage was sustained. Your agent should be handling your claim in accordance with your policy. After all, New Yorkers pay a pretty penny to insure their vehicles. If you suspect your claim is being handled in bad faith, don’t settle for your insurer’s tactics. Seek legal help from New York car accident attorney, Michael J. Redenburg, Esq. P.C. He will assess the situation and advise you of your options so you can get the compensation you deserve. For a free consultation, call (212) 240-9465 or fill out the online form.