If your insurance company does not uphold the terms of your insurance policy, you may have a right to take them to court. There are many reasons why an insurer can rightfully deny a claim. But auto insurance companies are also well-known for denying valid claims or taking other actions that are not faithful to their client’s policies. A policy with an insurance company is a binding contract, and while you have the duty to pay your premiums, the insurer has the duty to perform like it said it would under the policy. If you were in an accident and now you believe your insurance company is not upholding its contract with you, contact a personal injury attorney at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. at (312) 236-2900.
Common Ways Insurance Companies Breach Your Policy
Any time the insurer does not uphold a part of your policy when you have always paid your premiums and properly filed a claim, it is breaching its contract with you. However, there are common ways insurers breach their policies:
- Failing to investigate your claim: When you file a formal claim with your insurer, it has a duty to quickly and thoroughly investigate the situation. If the insurer delays the investigation to the point where it no longer has access to important evidence, such as the scene or information about damage to other vehicles involved, it has not performed as it should.
- Denying a valid claim: An insurer must have a valid and honest reason for denying a claim. Denying a claim that should rightfully be paid under your policy is unlawful.
- Denying benefits provided in the policy: Insurance policies often have other benefits in addition to paying for medical expenses or property damage. You may have the right to a rental car. However, if your insurance company denies you this right defined in your policy, they are breaching the contract.
- Delaying or failing to pay an approved claim: Once your claim is approved with a sufficient settlement amount, the insurer should pay you within a reasonable period of time. Sometimes insurers will approve claims but then severely delay payment or refuse to pay.
- Failing to provide a defense: If there is a third-party claim made against you for an accident, your policy most likely includes a provision that says it is your insurer’s duty to defend you. If the insurer refuses to provide you with an attorney regarding the case, it is breaching its duty toward you.
- Failing to provide payment to a third-party: If a third-party claim was rightfully made against your policy, your insurer is obligated to approve and pay that claim. By failing to pay the other party, you may be sued personally. This non-payment is a breach of the contract between you and the insurer.
Call Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. for Help
There are multiple causes of actions you may have against your insurer if it fails to do its job. You can take your insurer to court for breach of contract when it fails to uphold your policy. You may also be able to sue your insurer under the Illinois Insurance Code, which makes it illegal for an insurer to delay or fail to a pay a settlement. There are other causes of action you can use in court if your insurer used deceptive or unfair trade practices.
Our accident attorneys serve clients throughout the Chicago area, including Aurora, Elgin, Hinsdale, Joliet, Naperville, and Waukegan. If your insurer is not paying your claim like it should, contact Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. as soon as possible to learn about your rights and legal options.