Kentucky's Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act and Bad Faith Litigation
In today's society we insure many things: our homes, automobiles, lives, personal assets, and careers to name a few. It is not uncommon for families to have several different insurance policies with different insurance carriers. Some of these insurance policies are required by state law, such as automobile insurance. The purchase of these policies gives the policyholder peace of mind when it comes to financial protection of personal assets or their well-being. An insurance policy is a contract between the policyholder and the insurance company.
However, the terms of an insurance policy are generally not negotiated between the policyholder and the insurance company, and thus the bargaining power between the two is unequal. This unequal bargaining power makes the peace of mind that the policyholder has bought and paid for illusory. The unequal bargaining power is one reason why the terms of the insurance policy are construed against the writer of the policy, which is the insurance company.
The public policy of Kentucky is to encourage the fair and reasonable valuation and settlement of insurance claims. If a policyholder pays an insurance premium for automobile, health, life, home owner's or any other kind of insurance, then he or she should expect the insurance company to process and handle their claim in a timely manner with no unexplained claim denials. Additionally if a person is injured by another person who has liability insurance to cover the damages caused, the injured person should expect the insurance company to handle their claim in a timely manner.
The Kentucky General Assembly has also recognized that an insurance company must bargain in good faith and process claims in a timely manner. That recognition has caused the Kentucky General Assembly to enact the Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act, which provides relief for a policyholder or one who has a claim against another's policy and has had the claim delayed or denied for no apparent reason. This is also known as Statutory Bad Faith.
Some claimants are not aware of the value of their claim and, because of the length of time it takes to handle a claim, they give up and settle it for less than it is worth. The time necessary to process a claim depends on the seriousness of the injuries sustained, the damages claimed, and the type of evidence necessary to support the claim.
Not all insurance companies delay the processing of insurance claims, and the majority of the time the claim is processed properly. The mere fact that an insurance company does not make an offer immediately is not a violation of Kentucky's Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act nor is it Bad Faith. Please be aware that when you are injured, it could take several months to a year or longer before the claim is ready to be resolved even with the assistance of an attorney.
When your claim is not handled properly, the Law Office of Milton S. Goff, III will represent you to obtain the compensation and recovery you deserve. If you believe an insurance company is unfairly denying or delaying your claim, contact that Law Office of Milton S. Goff, III for a FREE Consultation.
The information contained in these web pages are for general informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice or a contractual agreement to represent any potential client. The information represents the most current trends in the law and may change at any given period of time. To assure the most accurate information is obtained you should contact an attorney.