Life Insurance Lawyer Michigan
Although Michigan state laws and legislature exist which protect policy holders and beneficiaries from wrongdoing by their company, some instances of bad faith or breaches of contract will still occur. The truth is that an insurance company is likely to make more money (in the short run, at least) by denying as many policies as possible. Using such strategies as retroactively cancelling policies due to "material misrepresentation" (relevant information missing from an application, such as tobacco usage), a company may avoid paying out on a policy which otherwise might have been valid.
Our highly-experienced attorneys are passionate about protecting the rights of citizens who have been wronged by these companies. We consider that the insurance company has an obligation to you, a beneficiary, to pay the claim that was promised in the policy. Our top-rated attorneys will fight to uphold that obligation.
A denial of your policy may leave you with financial hardships for the rest of your life. A delayed policy will leave you left wanting at present and wondering if you will ever get the payment you were promised. Sometimes, taking legal action is the only thing you can do. We offer a free case evaluation to see how we can help you. When you work with one of our attorneys, you will work with a professional who has experience and who cares about the outcome of your case. We usually recover the full amount of the policy for our clients.
Michigan Life Insurance Law
When an insurance company commits bad faith, the only real recourse left to a policyholder is to pursue insurance bad faith litigation against the insurance company. Insurance bad faith occurs when an insurance company unreasonably fails to fully and fairly pay claims promptly.
Often, clients turn to us for help when their claims have been mishandled by the insurance company. Unfortunately, cases where carriers review the insured's life insurance application in bad faith are not rare. An experienced Michigan life insurance lawyer understands the intricacies of the state bad faith life insurance law. Under the Sixth Circuit law, an insured may recover damages for an insurer's bad faith only upon a showing that the insurer committed some intentional wrongful conduct. An action for bad faith requires more than mere negligence. The term itself implies some intentional wrongful conduct. Mere errors in judgment should not be sufficient to establish bad faith. Mere negligent conduct will not support a bad faith action. Liability for bad faith will arise only in those instances where an insurer acts with some degree of conscious wrongdoing, recklessness or in a manner which reveals an unjustified gamble at the stake of the insured.
Michigan law states that if payment is not made to a claimant (including a third party tort claimant) within 60 days of satisfactory proof of loss being submitted on a claim that is not reasonably in dispute and on which the insurer has refused payment in bad faith, the insurer can be assessed a high interest rate. Both a lack of a reasonable dispute and bad faith are required.
Michigan law places the burden of proving an insurer's lack of good faith in handling claims on the insured. There is an implied duty of good faith and fair dealing in the handling of insurance claims. A finding of bad faith can be made when there is evidence that an insurance company made a decision that is not based on the totality of the circumstances or one that is arbitrary or capricious. The issue of the company's good or bad faith is primarily a question of fact requiring an examination of the carrier's intent or state of mind. If your claim for death benefits has been denied in bad faith, you need a skilled Michigan lawyer who will fight for your interests.
A plaintiff must establish three elements to succeed on a bad-faith claim: (1) the insurer must be obligated to pay the claim under the terms of the policy; (2) the insurer must lack a reasonable basis in law or fact for denying the claim; and (3) it must be shown that the insurer either knew there was no reasonable basis for denying the claim or acted with reckless disregard for whether such a basis existed.
When a beneficiary alleges bad faith insurance practice, it is imperative to conduct a proper analysis of specific facts and issues pertinent to a specific life insurance claim and policy. If your insurance company denies your valid life insurance claim you will need experienced life insurance attorneys to analyze your denied claim and advise you of any recourse you may have, including insurance bad faith litigation.
An insurance policy is a contract between the insured and the insurer. Insurance bad faith is a breach of that contract. There are many reasons why insurance bad faith is particularly egregious. Consequently, when insurance companies engage in bad faith, they can sometimes be compelled to pay punitive damages for their conduct.
At Insurance Claim Law Firm, we have won numerous multimillion-dollar settlements for victims of insurance bad faith, including cases involving:
Failure to pay valid disability claims, property damage claims, and business insurance claims
Failure to defend against lawsuits (failure to indemnify as required in business policies)
Failure to settle within the stated policy limits
Insurance agent or broker negligence
Our experienced trial attorneys have prevailed in cases involving life insurance, homeowners insurance and general commercial liability insurance. We have achieved numerous multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements for doctors, lawyers and other professionals who were wrongfully denied the benefits of their private disability insurance policies.
Policies Recovered For Our Clients
- Universal American: Denial of Policy $1,800,000.00
- AETNA: Mistake of Application $1,400,000.00
- AIG: Misrepresentation Alleged $1,000,000.00
- New York Life: Refused Due to Alcohol $750,000.00
- Unum: Long Delay of Payment $750,000.00
- Mass Mutual: Refused to Pay Money $750,000.00
- Globe: Dangerous Activity Exclusion $500,000.00
- Allstate: Refused Self-inflicted Injury $500,000.00
- ING: Allegation of Misrepresentation $500,000.00
- Bankers: Beneficiary Refused $400,000.00
- Pioneer: Would Not Pay on Policy $350,000.00
- Mutual of America: Fraud Alleged $300,000.00
- Savings Bank: Misrepresentation Cited $300,000.00
- Integrity: Bad Faith Denial $300,000.00
- Country Financial: Bad Faith Nonpayment $300,000.00
- Hartford: Suicide Refusal $100,000.00
- Combined: 2 Year Contestability Period $100,000.00
- Unum: Preexisting Condition Nonpayment $100,000.00
Curry v. Fireman's Fund Ins. Co., 784 S.W.2d 176 (Ky.1989) (resurrecting the tort of bad faith as a viable cause of action)
Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Kentucky, Inc. v. Whitaker, 687 S.W.2d 557, (Ky. Ct. App. 1985)
Matt v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., 798 F. Supp. 429 (W.D. Ky. 1991)
Mich. Comp. Laws §500.2006(4)
Hoskins v. Aetna Life Insurance Co., 6 Ohio St. 3d 272 (1983)
Wittmer v. Jones, 864 S.W. 2d 885 (Ky. 1993)