The Mike Kelly Law Group regularly represents individuals and businesses in disputes with insurance companies as a result of a claim against a policy for property, medical, accidental, title, health or life insurance. Many of our clients have been subjected to unfair claims practices by their insurers and have been denied coverage under a binding policy of insurance. South Carolina regulations and court rulings provide relief for individuals or businesses that have experienced unfair or deceptive acts by insurers and their claims adjusters or agents.Insurance companies are bound to adjust claims in good faith and must properly pay, investigate, or negotiate claims pursuant to a binding policy of insurance.
S.C. Code Ann. § 38-59-20 provides that any of the following acts by an insurer may constitute improper claim practices:
- Knowingly misrepresenting to insureds (policy holder) or third-party claimants pertinent facts or policy provisions relating to coverages at issue or providing deceptive or misleading information with respect to coverages.
- Failing to acknowledge with reasonable promptness, pertinent communications with respect to claims arising under its policies, including third-party claims arising under liability insurance policies.
- Failing to adopt and implement reasonable standards for the prompt investigation and settlement of claims, including third-party liability claims, arising under its policies.
- Not attempting in good faith to effect prompt, fair, and equitable settlement of claims, including third-party liability claims, submitted to it in which liability has become reasonably clear.
- Compelling policyholders or claimants, including third-party claimants under liability policies, to institute suits to recover amounts reasonably due or payable with respect to claims arising under its policies by offering substantially less than the amounts ultimately recovered through suits brought by the claimants or through settlements with their attorneys employed as the result of the inability of the claimants to secure reasonable settlements with the insurers.
- Offering to settle claims, including third-party liability claims, for an amount less than the amount otherwise reasonably due or payable based upon the possibility or probability that the policyholder or claimant would be required to incur attorneys' fees to recover the mount reasonably due or payable.
In addition to recovering actual damages for the underlying claim, you may also be awarded punitive damages and attorneys' fees if forced to bring suit against the insurer for a claim that they failed to adjust in good faith.
If you believe your insurer has engaged in conduct that may constitute a deceptive or bad faith effort to resolve a claim, including a wrongful denial of an insurance claim, we can help. Find out exactly what your rights are by contacting The Mike Kelly Law Group for a confidential, no-cost consultation by calling the toll free number listed for any of our offices or by completing our contact form.
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