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Insurance Litigation FAQ's
What are life insurance settlements?
Life insurance settlements allow a life insurance policy owner to sell an existing policy to a financial institution in exchange for immediate lump sum cash settlement. The amount paid for the policy is a discounted percentage of the policy's net death benefit and represents the present day value of the policy. This purchase price is determined by considering the insured's estimated life expectancy and the associated cost of premiums to keep the policy in force for that timeframe.
>What types of life insurance settlements are allowed?
1. Life Settlements - create immediate liquidity from a non-performing asset, allowing policy owners to cash out of unwanted, unaffordable or obsolete life insurance policies insuring a senior over age 65.
2. Viatical Settlements - enable someone facing a terminal illness to utilize the present day value of their life insurance policy to ease the financial burdens that can be caused by the high costs of medical care.
What is bad faith insurance?
Your insurance company has a duty to handle your claim promptly, reasonably and in "good faith". If an insurance company fails or refuses to honor its contract and pay a valid claim, you have the right to bring a civil action for damages against that insurance company.
I think the offer the insurance company gave me is too low. Is this bad faith?
Intentionally offering a settlement far lower than what is reasonable could be a case for bad faith. Insurance companies have an obligation to deal with their insured in a reasonable, fair manner. Contact an experienced insurance settlement attorney to discuss your unique claim.
Who is eligible to sue an insurance company for bad faith?
The law of bad faith only applies to first party insurance contracts. In other words, only claims made by the insured against his or her own insurance company to which he or she is paying a premium for coverage are eligible. Thus, it applies to claims made by those who are insured against their own automobile insurance companies, homeowner's insurance companies, disability insurance companies, etc. It does not apply to claims made by persons against another person's insurance company because that other person injured or damaged the claimant in some way.
What is a “reservation of rights” letter?
The first thing you might receive from an insurance company is called a "reservation of rights" letter. This letter informs you that the company is investigating your claim, but that it is reserving its right not to pay you anything if it turns out that the accident is not covered under the policy. The insurance company must still thoroughly investigate your claim and negotiate with you fairly. The letter simply protects the insurance company by preventing you from claiming that the company's insurance policy covers your accident just because it began settlement negotiations with you.
My insurance company has offered a settlement. Should I take it?
When the insurance adjuster makes you a first offer, your response should depend on whether it is a reasonable offer. The attorneys at Younce & Vtipil will help you determine if the insurance company has made a reasonable offer. Please contact us today.
If the offer is reasonable, you can immediately make a counteroffer that is a little bit lower than your demand letter amount. This shows the adjuster that you, too, are being reasonable and are willing to compromise. In these negotiations, emphasize the strongest points in your favor -- for example, that the insured was completely at fault, that you had a very painful injury, that your medical costs were reasonable, and/or that you had long-term or permanent physical effects.
How soon will my claim be settled?
Insurance companies are required by law to pay all claims in a prompt and reasonable amount of time. However, what constitutes prompt and reasonable may vary from claim to claim. Claims that require special or extended investigation may take longer to resolve.
id="9" When should I contact an insurance settlement lawyer?
Before you make any type of commitment in an insurance settlement, whether it is a life insurance policy, health insurance policy, or any other insurance policy, you should contact an experienced attorney at Younce & Vtipil. An attorney can assist you in asking the right questions, getting a fair settlement and court proceedings if necessary.
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