Denver Insurance Dispute Attorneys
What to Do If the Insurance Company Disputes or Denies Your Claim
Insurance law is a broad practice area that encompasses many important issues. At Larson Larimer Schneider, P.C. our knowledge is vast on the complexity of insurance disputes. We believe in taking on cases that matter and helping clients that deserve to triumph.
A lot of people do not know the changes that Colorado law has taken to protect policyholders and provide them with the benefits and coverage their insurance providers owe them for their dues. The Denver insurance dispute attorneys at Larson Larimer Schneider, P.C. have fought and won these cases for years, securing the settlements our clients deserve. If you find yourself in an insurance dispute, the best thing you can do is reach out to an attorney who knows how to fight back.
What Is Insurance Bad Faith?
Colorado law requires insurance companies to act fairly and in good faith. As part of the insurance company’s duty to act fairly and in good faith, they are also prohibited from unreasonably denying or delaying the payment of your claims. Doing so generally constitutes “bad faith” insurance practices.
Colorado law includes an Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act that prevents insurance companies from committing or performing the following acts:
- Failing to use reasonable standards in investigating your claim
- Failing to affirm or deny coverage within a reasonable time
- Refusing to pay your claim without conducting a reasonable investigation
- Attempting to settle your claim for less than a reasonable amount
- Failing to promptly settle your claim where liability has become reasonably clear
In addition to these requirements, insurance companies are also required to:
- Investigate your claim for benefits
- Not deny your claim based on surmise, speculation, or conjecture
- Not deny your claim without substantial justification
- Pay insurance benefits when due
- Promptly communicate with you about the status of your claim
- Be honest with its insured and third-party claimants
- Provide you with factual reasons for why the insurer is denying or delaying any payment of benefits
- Not “lowball” its insured for unreasonably low amounts
Colorado Laws Specifically Prohibit Unreasonable Delaying or Denying of Claims
In addition to an insurance company’s obligation to act in good faith, Colorado has recently passed a unique law prohibiting insurance companies from unreasonably denying or delaying the payment of benefits to its insured (C.R.S. 10-3-1115, 1116). This statute not only provides that an insurance company is liable to its insured for damages when it unreasonably delays or denies payment of benefits, but it also specifies the damages as twice the benefits that were unreasonably delayed or denied.
Our Denver insurance bad faith lawyers recently litigated one of the first cases to apply to this new statute. After successfully proving at trial that American Family Mutual Insurance Company unreasonably delayed paying benefits to its insured, the case was appealed by American Family. The Colorado Court of Appeals upheld the finding of the trial court and ordered American Family to pay twice the benefits that were unreasonably delayed, as well as the attorney fees incurred by its insured.
How We Can Help You
The requirement of your insurance company to act in good faith and to not unreasonably delay or deny the payment of your covered benefits applies to all types of insurance coverage, including but not limited to:
- Auto insurance
- Homeowners insurance
- Property insurance
- Health insurance
- Commercial insurance
If your insurance company is not complying with the above requirements or you believe that they are unreasonably delaying or denying the payment of your benefits, please contact an attorney at Larson Larimer Schneider, P.C. Our attorneys are experienced in insurance law, insurance coverage, and laws relating to bad faith. We can review and analyze the conduct of your insurance company, advise you as to whether their conduct violates Colorado law, and inform you of your potential remedies.
Request a Free Consultation Today
At Larson Larimer Schneider, P.C., we offer insurance dispute representation in Denver and throughout the Rocky Mountain Region and most of the state. Our team has extensive experience in this area of law, as well as a proven record of success in handling complex insurance bad faith claims and cases involving delayed or denied payments.
We provide free initial consultations to all potential clients and are happy to meet with you at your home or in the hospital if you are unable to travel to our office. We also provide legal services in Spanish in order to assist our Spanish-speaking clients.