Insurance companies offer their products to protect people in the event of unforeseen circumstances. New York consumers purchase insurance because they can't predict the future, and insurance companies assume the risk for them. However, it would not be a fair risk to the insurance provider if the client already knew trouble was on the way and didn't say anything before purchasing insurance. In fact, one insurance company in another state has filed a complaint in federal court because of just such a situation.
It is not uncommon for those who purchase insurance coverage in New York to be shocked when a claim on the policy is denied. Many think the insurance company is acting in bad faith or is somehow deceiving them, but often, the truth is simply that the customer did not read the policy or ask important questions when purchasing the coverage. Customers may think they can save money on a policy by keeping information from the insurer, or they may simply fail to understand the exclusions in their policies.
Over recent years, news coverage has shown city after city devastated by floods that resulted from heavy rains, hurricanes and even massive snowmelt. Some homeowners living in known flood planes are required by insurance law to purchase flood coverage. However, the RAND corporation estimates that, in one recently devastated city, only about 25 to 45 percent of those homes were covered, possibly leaving thousands of families and individuals with few options. In New York, many homeowners may not realize their own homes are at risk.
There is no question that insurance law is complex, and insurance policies are often full of intricate details. Laws governing the insurance industry also vary from state to state, further complicating the matter. Unfortunately, many consumers have a simplistic view of insurance coverage, believing that because they pay a premium, anything that goes wrong should be covered. Instead of having a full understanding of the limitations and conditions of their policies when they purchase them, they may discover those limitations only when disaster strikes.
Insurance companies are often portrayed as the bad guys when claims are denied. They may be accused of acting in bad faith, and it is common for policyholders to file lawsuits in New York courts against companies that deny their claims. However, insurance law varies from state to state, and one state supreme court is facing a challenge of its bad faith laws.
Employers often offer life and accidental death insurance as a benefit to their employees. However, in spite of having policies and procedures that must be followed, an insurance company may find itself having to defend those same procedures when an insured is either denied payment or tires of often unavoidable delays. Many of these companies conduct business in New York.
Disability insurance is meant to cover circumstances where an individual suffers an injury or illness that prevents an individual from working. While claims under this type of insurance policy often have merit and many are paid, there are requirements that the insurance company has the right to ensure have been met. In New York and other jurisdictions, some claims are denied, and some of those result in litigation.
The evolution of technology touches nearly every aspect of life. Cell phones now seem to be an extension of some people's arms, and they impact New York families, business and leisure. They also impact the highways, but cell phones are just one area of technology that promises to have a major effect on the auto insurance industry during the upcoming year. Some of the changes in the future of transportation include automated vehicles and damage claims regarding distracted driving.
In New York and elsewhere, it is not uncommon for insurance companies and their clients to be taken to court over policy or coverage issues. For this and other reasons, such companies often employ insurance defense attorneys in order to assist them when legal problems arise. What exactly does an insurance defense attorney do and how would utilizing such a service be of benefit?
Even though all drivers in the state of New York are required to meet our state's liability coverage minimums, which includes property damage and bodily injury coverage, most drivers have difficulty understanding their policy. In some cases, a driver may be confused about how their policy will apply if they are at-fault for an accident. In other cases, a driver may have questions about how they can seek compensation if they are a victim of another driver's negligence.