Bad Faith Insurance

Orange County Bad Faith Insurance Lawyer

Did Your Insurance Company Refuse to Pay Your Claim? 

Insurance companies are supposed to put their policyholders first, but it’s no secret that making money tends to be their top priority. 

From a policyholder’s perspective, this can be extremely frustrating. People rely on insurance to get them through tough times—that’s the whole point of having insurance in the first place. It can feel like the ultimate betrayal to have an insurance company wrongfully deny your claim, especially if you’re a long-time policyholder. You always pay your monthly premium, and now your provider isn’t keeping up their end of the deal.

If you have reason to believe that your insurance provider processed your claim in bad faith, you may be able to take legal action. At Harris Grombchevsky, our attorneys help Southern Californians hold greedy insurance providers accountable. From our office in Orange County, we serve clients in RiversideLos Angeles, San Diego, and nearby counties.


Give us a call at (888) 427-8064 today for a free consultation!


What Is Bad Faith in Insurance Law?

Bad faith insurance is when an insurance company refuses to pay a valid claim. An insurance agent or adjuster may do this in a variety of ways.

A few common ways in which insurance companies act in bad faith include:

  • Denying a valid claim
  • Adding on illegitimate deductions (lowering a claim’s value)
  • Failing to thoroughly investigate a claim
  • Requesting unnecessary paperwork
  • Cherry-picking facts to blame the policyholder
  • Pressuring policyholders into taking unfairly low settlements
  • Making sudden changes to a policy
  • Delaying communication
  • Delaying payments

Insurance companies want to make money. They are for-profit businesses, after all.

How Do You Know If You Have a Bad Faith Claim?

Many people have become used to the idea that their insurance provider will add on needless deductions. The unfortunate thing is that many people don’t know they can do something about it. 

Per California law, insurance providers have several duties to their policyholders:

  • Duty to investigate: Providers must investigate claims properly and in a timely manner. 
  • Duty to fairly process a claim: This goes hand in hand with the duty to investigate, as providers must process a claim as quickly and efficiently as possible. They must do so fairly and without trying to cheat the policyholder out of money.
  • Duty to pay out a valid claim: Providers must pay out an approved, valid claim on time. They are not supposed to delay payments or make it hard for the policyholder to collect their money.
  • Duty to defend: Providers must defend their policyholders in the event that someone sues them. For example, an auto insurance company would need to defend a policyholder/driver who struck a bicyclist and now finds himself the subject of a personal injury lawsuit
  • Duty to indemnify: “Indemnify” is a fancy way of saying “compensate.” This duty also applies when one person sues a policyholder. The provider must pay out the settlement or verdict on their policyholder’s behalf. 
  • Duty to settle reasonably: Again, this has to do with defending their policyholders in court. Providers must settle when it would benefit their policyholders. They are not legally allowed to put off settling in the hopes that they could save money the longer they wait.

When a provider acts outside or against these duties, it’s considered bad faith and provides grounds for a lawsuit.

Signs that Your Insurance Provider Acted in Bad Faith

Here are some signs that your insurance claim was reduced or denied in bad faith:

  • The insurance company didn’t investigate your claim.
  • The settlement offer seemed suspiciously low.
  • The agent misrepresented parts of your policy.
  • The agent refused to provide documentation.
  • You were threatened or intimidated.
  • Your claim was paid out very slowly.
  • Your claim was approved but never paid.
  • Your claim was denied for no real reason.
  • Deductions seemed arbitrary or unreasonable.

If you know or suspect that any of the above applies to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to our bad faith insurance attorneys at Harris Grombchevsky. We will use our skills and knowledge to uncover any wrongdoing during the claims process. Then we’ll use what we found to hold that provider accountable. We will fight tooth and nail for your rights and your compensation.

Get Compensated for Bad Faith Practices

According to state law, Southern Californians have the right to sue their insurance providers if they act in bad faith. A lawsuit could lead to payment on the original insurance claim, interest, and damages suffered because of bad faith insurance practices. 

Hiring a lawyer may even be enough to get your insurance provider to stop their bad faith practices. Remember, they want to save as much money as possible. Being hit with a civil lawsuit is expensive, especially if they know there’s a good chance they’ll be found out.

On the other hand, taking legal action doesn’t have to wreck your bank account. Harris Grombchevsky’s bad faith insurance lawyers will take on your insurance provider on a contingency-fee basis. That means you won’t have to pay us if we don’t recover compensation for you.

Bad Faith Insurance Claims We Take On

Any type of insurance company may act in bad faith, such as those that provide:

  • General liability insurance: There are many different types of liability insurance. General liability is the most common. It covers businesses in the event that they cause bodily harm, property damage, and reputational harm. It also covers errors made in advertising.
  • Auto insurance: This insurance covers cars, trucks, vans, motorcycles, and other motor vehicles. It compensates those involved in traffic accidents for property damage, injury, and damaged or stolen property.
  • Health insurance: California currently requires all residents to have health insurance, which covers health care expenses, from doctor’s visits to medication.
  • Malpractice insurance: This covers professionals who are at risk of being sued for negligence. Medical providers, lawyers, and accountants often have malpractice insurance to protect themselves and their professional careers. 
  • Errors and omissions insurance: This provides coverage for inadvertent mistakes that lead to real losses or injuries. It is similar to malpractice insurance. The difference is that E&O insurance will not cover any decisions made in poor judgment—it only covers honest mistakes.
  • Directors and officers liability insurance: Also known as D&O insurance, this coverage helps corporations and nonprofits pay for any lawsuits brought against their directors and officers. 
  • Workers’ compensation insurance: Most California employers are required to have workers’ comp insurance, a no-fault insurance that compensates employees for workplace injuries. This compensation is paid out in the form of benefits for wage loss, medical care, and more.

Contact us online to find out more about how we can help you!

Fraudulent Insurance Claims

Just as lying on your insurance application is a prescription for trouble, so is the filing of false, inflated or otherwise fraudulent claims. The fact that insurers are big companies does not make it right or legal to steal from them. Such activity raises everyone's premiums. It also stands to land you in jail. More and more attorneys general, insurance commissioners and insurance companies are coming down hard on insurance fraud. The upshot can be more than a denial of your claim. It can be a conviction for the felony of criminal fraud or similar charges, leading to stiff fines or perhaps jail time—for you and for everyone involved in the fraud, including your spouse or other family members if they "helped out." It's not worth it.


If you are currently engaged in an insurance law legal matter, contact us today