Bad Faith Insurer

Insurance Bad Faith

Life and Health Insurance Information, Resources and Attorney Referrals for
Insurance Companies that Fail to Pay Legitimate Claims

USAA Insurance Company Ranked Among the WORST 
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Bad Faith Insurer, Deceptive Trade Practices,
Denial of Benefits
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According to Bad Faith Insurance:

"It's The Law: Insurance Companies Are Required To 'Willingly' Pay Claims Properly And Promptly (Good Faith) And It Is Illegal To 'Willingly' Not Pay, Discount, Delay, And Deny Payment Of Legitimate Claims (Bad Faith). 

Bad faith insurance non-payment of claims are widespread, illegal, and opaque, where many criminal enterprise bad faith insurers consistently break and disregard the law, and where state regulators are nowhere to be found. 

If ignorance of the law is of no excuse for citizens, then total blindness, inaction and lack of enforcement of insurers bad faith insurance claims practices by state insurance commissions should equally be of no excuse." 

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the opinions expressed herein are ours or our contributors

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What are deceptive trade practices?

The Federal Trade Commission defines deceptive trade practices - which are prohibited activities in the Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act as: 

1. Passing off goods or services as those of another. 

2. Causes likelihood of confusion or misunderstanding as to the source or approval of goods or services; or an affiliation with or certification by someone else. 

3. Uses deceptive representations or designations of the geographic source of the goods or service.

4. Represents that goods or services have sponsorship, approval, characteristics, ingredients, uses or benefits that they don't have, or that a person has some sponsorship, approval or connections that he or she does not. 

5. Represents that the goods are original or new when they are not.

6. Represents that goods or services are of a particular standard, quality or grade, or of a particular style or model, when they are not.

7. Disparages the goods, services or business of someone else by false or misleading representations.


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What is "Insurance Bad Faith" or "Bad Faith Insurance"?

Insurance Bad Faith (NOT "Bad Faith Insurance") is a legal term which describes a tort claim that an insured person or "policyholder" may have against an insurance company for its "Insurance Bad Faith," bad acts, or other wrong-doing.. 

Under most state laws in the United States, insurance companies owe a duty of good faith and fair dealing to their customers, or policyholders who they insure. This duty that all insurance companies have is referred to as the "implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing" which automatically exists by operation of law in every insurance contract. If an insurance company violates this covenant, the insured person (or "policyholder") may sue the company on a tort claim in addition to a standard breach of contract claim. The contract-tort distinction is significant because as a matter of public policy, punitive or exemplary damages are unavailable for contract claims, but are available for tort claims. The end result is that a plaintiff in an Insurance Bad Faith case may be able to recover an amount larger than the original face value of the policy, if the insurance company's conduct was particularly egregious.

Insurance Bad Faith

Insurance Bad Faith is any matter regarding an insurance claim by an Insured that is wrongfully denied by the Insurer. An insurance policy is considered a contract between you (the Insured) and your insurance carrier (the Insurer).   This contract requires that your Insurer acts in "good faith" toward you. When an Insurer unreasonably withholds the benefits of the policy from its Insured, it is considered to be in "bad faith."

Insurance attorneys know that Insurers most frequently attempt to deny claims for any reason they can.    Furthermore, when an Insurer acknowledges that a claim or lawsuit is covered by the insurance policy, it most often attempts to underpay a claim.   To determine whether an Insurer is acting in good faith, the Court must determine whether or not the Insurer's conduct is "reasonable."   In most states, an Insurer may not put its own interest above that of an Insured.   To prove bad faith, the Insured need only to show that the Insurer failed to honor the contract and had no cause not to pay what was due.

The Insurer has a duty to deal fairly with its customers, the "Insureds" or policyholders.

Every insurance contract contains an unwritten covenant or promise of good faith imposed by law upon an Insurer to always act fairly towards its Insureds in handling their claims.   Insurers must always meet the reasonable expectations of the policyholder as well as give as much if not more consideration to the financial interests of its Insureds than it does to its own financial interests.

What are some examples of Bad Faith Insurance?

There are many examples of how an insurance company can commit bad faith, they include the following "types" of insurance policies:

How do insurance companies commit Insurance Bad Faith? What are some examples of Insurance Bad Faith?

Insurance Bad Faith constitutes not only breach of your insurance policy contract with the Insurer but also includes injuries personally sustained outside of the insurance contract as a result.   If such a breach exceeds that of being "unreasonable" and is demonstrated to be dishonest, deceptive or fraudulent, a judgment may be obtained and punitive damages awarded exceeding compensation for the loss under the policy as punishment for bad faith and to deter similar conduct by the Insurer in the future.

Do Insurers have the right to deny my claim?

Insurers have the right to deny a claim where the Insured has not lived up to the insurance contract, or where the claim is not covered by the policy or is fraudulent.

What should an Insured do in the event of a claim?

An Insured should immediately notify the Insurance Agent; Collect and review the insurance policy as it relates to the relevant provision(s) of the claim; Most importantly, document all events, notes and all contacts and communications made, whether written or verbal with the Insurer and those related.   Submit your claim promptly as most state laws and most insurance policies require that claims be presented within a limited period after the loss, otherwise if the Insured waits too long, the Insured loses the right to seek benefit on a claim.

What if my insurance company denies my claim and appears to be committing Insurance Bad Faith?

If you still feel you are in the right after having reviewed your insurance policy, collected all of the correspondence you have had with your insurance company and other pertinent documentation, write a letter and send it certified mail to the Director of Claims of the Insurance carrier citing the relevant provisions of the policy and demonstrating that the Insurer's denial of claim benefits is unreasonable.   At the same time, write the Commissioner of the Department of Insurance in your State and for whatever its worth ask the Department for a review and assistance in the matter.

What if my insurance company still continues to deny my claim and commits bad faith?

Collect your policy and documentation and bring them to a qualified Insurance attorney. Insurance bad faith is a very specialized field and it is important to go to an insurance attorney.    

An Insurance Bad Faith attorney should be able to determine after a quick consultation and review of the policy whether or not coverage applies for your loss, and whether or not your Insurer has committed bad faith. 

If you don't know an Insurance Bad Faith attorney, consult your state bar association.

What can I recover if I sue my Insurer for bad faith?

If the Court finds the Insurer to have acted in bad faith, the Insured is eligible to recover the benefits of the policy for the claim as well as all consequential losses and damages it suffered as a result of the Insurer wrongfully denying the claim including damages for emotional distress.   This also includes the Insured's attorneys' fees which you had to pay in order to force your Insurer to live up to its contractual obligations; and in some cases where the Insurer has exhibited flagrant, intentional and/or gross misconduct, punitive damages are awarded.

What are an Insured's options when an Insurance carrier commits Insurance Bad Faith?

When an Insurer commits bad faith, an Insured has three options: to negotiate a resolution and an acceptable settlement with the Insurer however if this fails (Insurers are masters of claims negotiation) the Insured is left with two options, to either do nothing and give up, or sue the Insurer.   A vast majority of people unfortunately choose to do nothing and give up. Frequently, when an insurance attorney becomes involved, an Insurer will generally take the claim much more seriously and look to modify and correct its earlier bad faith direction in order to minimize the amount of the claim, potential bad faith implications and loss and punitive damages against the Insurer.   Just as frequently, however, the Insurer may become even more difficult as it realizes that it now must justify its actions.    Typically, however, even when it is necessary to sue an Insurer for bad faith, the case is often settled before or at the time of trial.

Why do Insurers commit bad faith?

There is a very substantial benefit and good economical reason for Insurers to commit bad faith. Insurers receive thousands of claims every day many of which are wrongfully denied.   

Very few Insureds dispute this wrongful denial and thus Insurers save considerable amounts of money which in reality they would otherwise be obligated to pay.  

The following is example of how insurance companies deny their policyholder's claims - but understand, it works and saves your insurance company millions of dollars every year!

Example:  Let's say for example that an Insurer denies 100 claims.   Of these 100 claims, ninety-five go unchallenged and disappear while five claims are disputed.    Of these five, the Insurer reverses its earlier decision to deny coverage and agrees to pay on four of the claims but continues to refuse coverage on the fifth claim.    The fifth claimant then files a lawsuit and recovers bad faith and punitive damages against the Insurer.    

Even if this claimant who filed suit recovers millions of dollars against the Insurer, the insurance company still saved millions of dollars by not having had to pay the other 95 claims which were denied and not disputed.   Thus, Insurers gain substantial financial and economic advantage by continuing to deny their customer's legitimate claims.

Do you have an Insurance "horror" story where they denied your insurance benefits?  

Send your story about how you were mistreated by any insurance company to: and


My Experience and How I Was Denied Insurance Benefits from USAA Insurance

It all started after I was rear-ended by an 18-wheeler on a major freeway in Texas.  

The driver of the 18 wheeler was at fault, and issued a ticket.  

At this time, all of our insurance was with USAA - this included multiple car insurance policies as well as two life insurance policies. I even carried extra amounts of car insurance. 

After the first 18-wheeler ran into my car from behind - I started missing some work - but not too much, several hours/week for physical therapy.  

Shortly after the first 18-wheeler running into me, I was again hit by another 18-wheeler, this time, I was side swiped by this 18 wheeler, as they were driving too fast on a curve of a freeway, and their an 18 wheeler was driving too fast, and their momentum forced them to hit my car.  Again, the driver was clearly at fault, they were issued a ticket and after this accident, my physicians ruled that I was totally disabled and the well-respected neurosurgeon would not operate on my back and neck.  

My family and I had been with USAA for about 20 years at this time. We had some claims with USAA over the years, relating to storm damage in our home. USAA was always prompt and paid the claim on time.

However, after the two separate accidents - each time involving an 18-wheeler truck, and each time the driver of the 18-wheeler was at fault - and ticketed - USAA abruptly stopped making the payments for my disability portion of my insurance. 

USAA is NO DIFFERENT than ANY other insurance company wherein greed,  selfishness and their bottom-line drives this company.

Like most every other insurance company, insurance companies are managed by thieves, that rip off the very customers that pay their salaries.  After over 12 years, I have now lost my home of 13 years, and disabled to this very day. Had USAA paid the claims they were supposed to, I would still have my house and the financial pain and burden of a disability from being hit by 2 different 18 wheelers, would not be so unimaginable. 

USAA has profited from my injuries, by FAILING to pay the insurance disability payments I should have received - and to date, with interest, USAA owes me over $200,000.  

My suggestion to you.... AVOID USAA AT ALL COSTS, because they are NO DIFFERENT than any other insurance company.

Do you have a USAA "horror" story?  

Send us your USAA rip-off story to us at:

and then send your story about how you were mistreated by USAA to the fine folks at:


Links to Insurance Related Web Sites

Americans for Insurance Reform

Fighting Bad-Faith Insurance Companies

National Consumers League

National Association of Insurance Commissioners
(Online Fraud Submission form)

United Policyholders

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