Insurance fraud is a rampant problem in today’s world, and insurance companies are often the culprit, swindling consumers out of their premium payments and the money that is owed to them through the coverage they have purchased. Insurance fraud is also known as insurance bad faith denial of claims and fraud by the agent selling or replacing policies unnecessarily (also called churning or 1035 replacement) such is frequently done with the sale of deferred annuities, and it is used to describe the wide range of fraudulent and illegal behavior that an insurance provider tries to get past its consumers and businesses.
Contra Costa insurance fraud attorneys know that there are several ways an insurance carrier can act in bad faith to cheat their consumers. Often, companies commit fraud because they are not delivering on the promises they have made to their consumers, whether by failing to offer the compensation they agreed upon, delaying payments, outright denying to uphold the policy, or otherwise preventing the policyholder from using his or her insurance policy to its full extent.
Good Faith and Fair Dealing
All insurance contracts have a covenant of good faith and fair dealing, whether it is implied or stated clearly in the contract terms. This covenant means that the two parties—provider and policyholder—will deal fairly with each other, and keep their ends of the agreement between them. For a policyholder, this means making the requisite payments on time, and in the full amount, and not trying to extort money from the carrier through a fraudulent claim. For the insurance provider, however, the contract sets the expectation that the policy terms will be fully upheld, that payments to the consumer will be made in a timely manner, and that at all points in a claim or investigation, the consumer will be treated fairly and honestly.
What to Do if You are the Victim of Insurance Fraud
But despite this contract, Contra Costa insurance fraud attorneys see far too many cases of fraudulent or underhanded behavior on the part of the insurance company. An insurance company that acts in bad faith can be dealt with in civil court, as such conduct is considered a tort or a civil wrong, when the insured party sues the provider. In most cases, the policyholder is seeking to recover the money that the insurance carrier owes him. These funds are known as compensatory damages, and are usually combined with punitive damages, the monetary penalty that the insurance company must pay for acting fraudulently or in bad faith.
To understand the extent of the damages you can expect to recover from your insurance carrier in a bad faith claim, you need the help of an experienced Contra Costa insurance fraud attorney, who can help you bring your lawsuit against the company. Often, these lawsuits become complex, and delve into your history with the insurance provider, and the incident for which you are seeking damages, whether it be a claim for life, car, health, or other types of insurance.
Some of the major sellers of deferred annuities include: Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company; Principal Life Insurance Company; Jackson National Life; Pacific Life Insurance Company; Athene USA (formerly Aviva Life and Annuity Company or Aviva USA); Genworth Life Insurance Company; Midland National Life Insurance Company; Bankers Life and Casualty Co.; North American Company for L&H Ins; Security Benefit Life Ins Co; EquiTrust Life Insurance Company; Guggenheim Life and Annuity. Not every sale of a deferred annuity is fraudulent. If you would like an attorney to review your deferred annuity policy and let you know your legal options, the review and evaluation is free and confidential.
If you have questions about your existing insurance policies, options available for insurance providers, whether a product was suitable or appropriate for you including the sale of a deferred indexed or fixed annuity or any problems you have encountered in dealing with your carrier, contact an insurance fraud attorney at the Evans Law Firm, Inc., today for a free consultation. An experienced attorney is available to take your case at 415.441.8669 or online at www.evanslaw.com.