O'Connor, O'Connor, Bresee & First, P.C.
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Don't let policy holders tell you you're negotiating in bad faith

Despite what may be said on the Internet about insurance companies, a majority of adjusters care about getting policy holders fair payments from their claims. Unfortunately, in today's society, all it takes is one bad apple to ruin it for the rest of the insurance companies who are actually trying to help their clients through a difficult time.

Because of tactics used by some companies in the past, many policy holders are leery of filing claims. They're often afraid that their rates will go up drastically or worse, their claim will be denied. More still though believe that their adjuster will not give them a fair settlement. It's because of these beliefs that some policy holders are instructed to use words like "bad faith" when talking to their insurance company.

As some of our New York readers know, insurance companies in our state need to negotiate on the premise of good faith, meaning they must do what they can to fairly protect their client while always negotiating for a fair claim. Failing to meet this duty means that the insurance company has negotiated in bad faith, which is grounds for a civil claim.

But just because a policy holder asccuses an insurance company of bad faith, does not mean that the company has done anything wrong. In some cases, a policy holder may just be using the phrase "bad faith" as a form of intimidation – trying to scare the adjuster into giving more money than is owed.

Policy holders are not the only people who need legal representation when they feel they are not being afforded the fullest protections under the law. So too is true for insurance companies who are being accused of bad business practices. By seeking legal representation, insurance companies can make sure that they are not being bullied into unfair settlements that could cost them big down the road.

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