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Bad Faith Insurance 101: Everything You Need to Know

Insurance companies are generally thought of as “protectors.” You pay them an annual fee, either in a lump sum or installments, and they provide coverage in case of catastrophe. Insurance companies are there when you have an automobile accident to repair or replace your vehicle and get you back on the road. They may give relief when you’ve had a house fire and need remodeling work or replacement of furniture and other belongings.

Sometimes, though, your insurance company may not act honestly in fulfilling your claim. Dishonest dealings by insurance providers are called bad faith insurance claims. If you’ve been a victim of a bad faith claim, you could be entitled to damages greater than the face value of your actual policy. Here is everything you need to know if you think your insurance company may be acting in bad faith against you.

What Bad Faith Insurance Looks Like

Bad faith insurance practices do happen. If you have made a legitimate claim to your insurance company and they have denied it without proper investigation, without providing documentation, or for other reasons, they’re acting in bad faith. Examples of a bad faith claim are as follows:

  1. Denying a claim without proper cause. Your insurance company must provide a reasonable explanation for denying your claim. Some companies will cite language in your contract that may be confusing, or use obscure terms for their denial.
  2. Failure to complete a thorough investigation in a timely manner. Your insurer may drag their feet on a claim investigation. Once you have submitted all the necessary or required information for your claim, the company has a duty to act on it quickly. If they take an unreasonable amount of time to begin an investigation or do not complete a comprehensive one, they may be acting in bad faith and be liable in a suit.
  3. Refusing to pay a valid claim. If your insurance company refuses to pay your valid claim, you may pursuit a bad faith claim.
  4. Refusal to give documentation supporting their denial. If you ask your insurance company for documents related to your claim or your policy, they are under obligation to provide it.
  5. Attempting to settle for less than the claim is worth. If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident and have $10,000 of medical payments insurance, your insurer might try to settle for paying $4,000 of that. This is a form of a bad faith insurance practice.

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How to Get Compensation After a Dog Bite Injury

Sometimes, even the most well-meaning dog owners miss cues from their pet that something terrible is about to happen. Unfortunately, this could mean you end up with a dog bite injury that leaves you financially strained and in pain. If you’ve been the victim of a dog bite injury in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, the attorneys at the Law Offices of N. David DuRant & Associates are here to help you litigate your personal injury case.

Immediately Following a Dog Bite

If you are bitten by a dog, it’s important to handle the situation with your future in mind. Following the below steps will help ensure you get compensation for your suffering:

Seek medical attention first. Depending on severity and location, a dog bite injury can cause serious bleeding or infection at the site of the wound.

Get the owner’s information. In most cases, the pet owner is responsible for a dog bite injury. Get as much contact information from them as possible following your incident.

Take photos. Photograph your wound, the dog, the area in which the incident occurred, and any witnesses who may have seen it occur. These photos will serve as evidence in your personal injury case.

Call authorities. Completing a report with local law enforcement further confirms your personal injury due to another person’s negligence. If you have been bitten by a stray dog, there is a possibility of rabies transmission. Your local animal control center can assist you in stray dog attacks. Continue reading “How to Get Compensation After a Dog Bite Injury”

Should You Buy That Short Sale Home?

If you’re in the market for a new house, you may already know that purchasing from a standard seller isn’t your only option. Many homeowners fall behind on their mortgage payments and end up forced to sell the house for less than it’s worth.

This can be devastating for the fledgling homeowners, but it presents a unique buying opportunity for you. A short sale in particular is a common type of transaction that allows a homeowner to avoid foreclosure while also giving a buyer a great deal on a valuable home.

If you’re considering a short sale, these tips will help you have the best experience possible.

Remember the Home Inspection!

A home inspection occurs before a home is sold in order to examine the condition of the home and identify any problems. While a home inspection doesn’t cover every single source of potential issues, it does allow for a visual evaluation of a property from top to bottom, including all main systems. The most important items include structural components, exterior features, the roof, plumbing, heating, cooling, and electrical systems, and insulation and ventilation.

You want to tag along for any short sale home inspection so that you can learn about any problems and gain a realistic understanding of what it might cost to fix everything. If termites, mold, or structural damage are common in your area, it is also a good idea to hire a specialized inspector to check for those more expensive problems. Once you have all of the facts, you can make an informed decision. Continue reading “Should You Buy That Short Sale Home?”

What Happens To Your Family Home After a Divorce?

Most people associate divorce with the emotional implications of separating from a partner or splitting a family, but there are financial implications to consider as well. How are assets split? How much spousal support needs to be paid? And, most importantly, what happens to the family home?

This is a difficult question that often causes conflict in divorce proceedings. Here’s what you should know about the guidelines regarding home ownership options during a divorce.

Option 1: Select One Spouse to Keep the Home

Some divorces are surprisingly friendly. If you and your soon-to-be-ex spouse can agree together on just one of you keeping the house, you can begin to make the many arrangements required for that plan to become a reality.

You will need to begin with an appraisal – or three. By ordering three appraisals, you can fairly determine the value of the home. Then, it’s a matter of determining if you can afford the property, buy out your ex, and refinance the property in just your name. Don’t forget to consider property tax and insurance payments in addition to the mortgage itself. Continue reading “What Happens To Your Family Home After a Divorce?”

Who Is Responsible for Accidents at Vacation Rentals?

bech house injuries myrtle beachWhen you go on a vacation, especially to a location like Myrtle Beach, South Carolina you may decide to rent out a vacation home instead of staying in a hotel. Vacation homes can be a fantastic choice with all the comforts of home, and enough room for the whole family. Yet, the owners may not follow the same safety standards that a hotel corporation might. Since these homes are often privately owned, and the maintenance is up to the discretion of the owner, there is more risk for injury, and the owner may not want to take accountability for the injured party.

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