Understanding Georgia’s Bad Faith Insurance Law - Scott A. Pryor, Attorney at Law, LLC
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      Scott Pryor
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      Scott is a member of the State Bar of Georgia and is listed in the top 1% of trial attorneys in the nation by the Litigator Awards. He is also a member of Super Lawyers, National Trial Lawyers, the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association—Champion Level and sits on the Communications Committee of GTLA, and the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum.

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    • JJ Timmons
      JJ Timmons
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      J. J. Timmons graduated from Mercer Law School in 2000. He spent many years thereafter doing insurance defense work in general liability and workers’ compensation for several insurance companies and a major automobile manufacturer. He eventually realized that he was working on the wrong side and has been representing plaintiffs and injured workers for the last seven years. Timmons joined Scott Pryor Law in 2015 and specializes in personal injury and worker’s compensation cases.

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Understanding Georgia’s Bad Faith Insurance Law

Imagine if your auto insurance company denied a valid claim for repairs to your car after an accident without bothering to give you a reason why. Or what if your homeowners insurance company refused to pay a valid claim after your home was damaged by a tornado—an event that is covered by your policy? Both examples are insurance companies acting in bad faith.When an insurance company fails to fulfill its obligations to you as the policy holder, they acted in bad faith and can be held liable for bad faith breach of contract. Bad faith claims can also be brought against an insurance company if they acted recklessly or illegally and disregarded your rights.

Reasons to Sue for Bad Faith Claim

Each case is unique and no one case will have an identical outcome, but her are some common reasons a lawsuit is brought against an insurance company for bad faith.

  • The insurance company failed to disclose policy limits.
  • The insurance company pressured you or gave you bad advice.
  • The insurance company delayed payment on a valid claim.
  • The insurance company failed to communicate essential information.
  • The insurance company failed to offer a fair and reasonable settlement.
  • The insurance company refused to pay the claim without investigating
  • The insurance company failed to provide an explanation for the denial of claims.
  • Insurance companies failed to respond to time-sensitive demands.
  • The insurance company denied coverage for no valid reason.

I Think My Insurance Company is Acting in Bad Faith. What should I do?

It can be difficult to know for sure whether or not your insurance company acted in bad faith. So when you start to get a gut feeling or suspect they are not living up to your policy terms, then it is time to contact an attorney for help. It is not unusual for an insurance company to refuse to pay a valid claim without providing an explanation or justification. They also employ many tactics that will make you question or doubt yourself. Which is why an attorney can give you expert advice on whether the actions of the insurance company are or are not technically “bad faith.”

What would be my Rights if my Insurance Company Acted in Bad Faith?

If your insurance company refuses to honor its contract by paying a valid claim, you have every right to sue them for damages. A bad faith law exists to balance the right of the insurer by rejecting an invalid claim with the rights of the policyholder to receive fair payment. Bad-faith insurance claims cases often require insurance companies to pay damages that go beyond what the original policy amounts listed. In addition to paying out the terms of the policy, they might have to pay statutory penalties or interest, liability judgments, attorney fees, punitive damages and emotional distress.

Going after a bad faith insurance claim is no picnic. These types of lawsuits are time consuming and complex. It is essential that you seek out an attorney with a bad faith insurance experience so they can tell you what damage to demand at the very beginning of the lawsuit. The insurance claim process is exhausting to begin with, not to mention dealing with an insurance company who refuses to cooperate. Let a qualified lawyer help protect your interests and act as an advocate for you.

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