Michigan Bad Faith Insurance Lawyers

When you pay for insurance, whether it's for your home, car or boat, or anything else, you pay for peace of mind. And if someone gets hurt because of an accident, you reasonably expect your insurance company to fully pay for any damages covered by your policy. But when an insurance company unreasonably refuses to pay your claim or refuses to properly defend and protect you from the claims of others, your insurance company may be operating in bad faith. What can you do if you find yourself in a conflict with your insurer? You can contact the Bad Faith Insurance Lawyers at Hamilton Law to help.

Duties to Policyholders

Insurance companies have several important duties to their policyholders. And the failure to meet these duties may amount to bad faith by the insurance company. Some of the most important duties insurance companies have to their insureds include:

  • The Duty to Investigate – An insurance company has a duty to investigate claims. An insurance company that fails to conduct a proper investigation of a claim and provide their findings (and a valuation) may be deemed to have failed to meet their duty to investigate. Also, unreasonable delays in conducting a proper investigation may also constitute a bad faith insurance claim.
  • The Duty to Defend — Any insurance company has a duty to defend the policyholder against a claim. An insurance company who refuses to defend the policyholder against a claim, even if large parts of the lawsuit are not necessarily covered by the policy, may be deemed to have failed to meet its duty to defend the policyholder.
  • The Duty to Indemnify — An insurance company has a duty to indemnify the policyholder. An insurance company that fails to pay a settlement agreement or judgment entered against the policyholder, up to the limit of their coverage, has failed to meet their duty of indemnification, which may constitute bad faith.
  • The Duty to Settle Reasonably — An insurance company has a duty to reasonably settle a lawsuit against its insured. When a settlement proposal would be advantageous to the insured because a lawsuit might expose them to damages beyond the limits of the policy, the insurance company may breach their duty to reasonably settle the case if they are refusing or have refused to settle just because they are trying, and hoping, to reduce their liability at trial.

Causes of Action

If an insurance company has acted in bad faith, you may be able to sue them. In Michigan, claims against insurance companies for their bad faith typically proceed as a breach of contract. An insurance agreement is a contract in which the insured pays premiums in return for the insurance coverage, defense, and the monetary value of the policy payment. As such, an insurance company's refusal to hold up their end of the bargain may be a breach of contract.

Learn More About Bad Faith Insurance Law

An experienced Michigan bad faith insurance attorney at Hamilton Law can help clarify your rights and guide you through the process to help set things right if your insurance company has turned its back on you. Contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation.