New York Insurance Dispute Attorney Serving NYC and the Hudson Valley
Auto insurance companies are, unfortunately, just like all other insurance providers. We obtain policies, we pay premiums, and we expect coverage under the policy we paid for. The insurance company, on the other hand, cares first and foremost about protecting its own bottom line. Auto insurance companies may deny coverage of claims that rightly fall within the policy language without proper reason, and they may engage in other bad faith behavior such as refusing to settle or defend a third-party claim brought against the policyholder. If you have been subject to bad faith behavior by your auto insurance provider, the New York personal injury and insurance dispute attorneys at Dupée & Monroe can help you get the coverage you deserve.
Refusal to Pay First-Party Benefits
In New York, when you get into a car accident, your insurance policy covers your damages, regardless of who caused the accident. New York’s no-fault insurance system prevents you from claiming additional damages against the other party and prevents them from bringing a claim against you unless certain minimum thresholds are met. If your insurance provider tries to deny your claim for an unjustified reason, you have the right to push back against their denial.
They may try to deny your claim because you allegedly waited too long to report the crash, because your policy lapsed, because your costs are somehow excluded, or because your proof of medical costs or property damage is insufficient. These are often mere excuses to avoid or delay paying out on a claim that they know they owe. If your first-party insurance claim was denied by your auto insurance company, speak with a knowledgeable auto insurance dispute lawyer to discuss your claims and help you get the coverage you deserve.
Refusal to Defend or Settle Third-Party Claim
Bad faith behavior by auto insurance companies can take other forms. Insurance providers have a responsibility to treat their policyholder’s interests as they do their own interest. That means that when there is a claim against you by a third party, and that claim falls within your policy coverage, your insurance provider has a duty to defend against that claim and protect you. When your provider fails to do so, you may have what is known as a third-party bad faith insurance claim.
Third-party bad faith insurance claims can be brought in New York whenever an insurance company refuses to defend or settle a liability claim brought against the policyholder within the limits of the policy. They may refuse to settle for a variety of reasons, including because they know their liability is unlikely to change (they are only going to pay out up to the policy limit, regardless of how much the plaintiff wins at trial), so they might as well hold on to their money for a longer period of time in order to keep it invested. Because of their refusal to defend the policyholder, or to settle within the policy limits when given the chance, the policyholder is likely to end up facing a judgment that is far above the policy limits.
For example, if a policyholder is at fault for an accident and caused an accident victim to suffer significant injuries, they may be facing a $1 million lawsuit between medical costs and pain and suffering damages. The policyholder has an insurance policy with a $200,000 limit. The insurance company is given the opportunity to settle within the policy limits–$200,000. Instead, they refuse, and the case goes to trial. The plaintiff ends up winning the full $1 million. The insurance provider pays the plaintiff $200,000 in accordance with the policy, but the policyholder is now on the hook for another $800,000 that could have been avoided had the insurance provider just settled when the offer within the limit was on the table.
If your insurance provider failed to accept a reasonable settlement and causes you significant additional damages as a result, or if they refuse to put up a proper defense to your claim and you end up paying well beyond the policy as a result, you may have a claim for third-party bad faith. Speak with a dedicated insurance bad faith attorney to discuss your claim.
Don’t Let Your Insurance Company Engage in Bad Faith
If you were involved in a car accident or other personal injury incident and your insurance provider refuses to pay out on your claim or refuses to defend you properly and in accordance with their duties, you do not have to face their bad faith behavior alone. Reach out to the serious and dedicated insurance dispute attorneys at Dupée & Monroe for a free consultation on your possible lawsuit, at 845-294-8900.