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from our blog


August 29, 2017

The Insurance Industry Quick-Hit Settlement

If you’ve been in a collision and it was someone else’s fault, odds are very good that you will hear from the at-fault driver’s insurance company as soon as possible. It’s a tactic that is happening more and more in Arizona. This is done for a variety of reasons: (1) the insurance company would like […]

 

Legal Remedies for Dealing with Insurance Misrepresentation

Although rare, sometimes insurance agents mislead consumers into thinking that their insurance covers more than it actually does. Insurers do this hoping that the insured will never have to make a claim. However, when the insured tries to make a claim on the insurance that they were fraudulently induced to buy, the insurer will often refuse full payment. If this happens, the insured will have several options which would include filing a complaint with Arizona’s Department of Insurance at http://www.id.state.az.us/forms/cad_complaint_form.pdf.

Arizona law allows an insured to bring a declaratory judgment action in court in order for a declaration as to whether the insurance company was legally bound to provide coverage for the harm the insured experienced. The downside of such actions is that they do not in and of themselves require any party to do anything and requires no compensation for damages; it just affirms what the parties’ true legal rights and obligations are.

The insured can also bring a claim for breach of contract. Winning a judgment based on breach of contract does allow an insured compensation for certain damages limited to the terms of the contract plus attorneys’ fees in the discretion of the court. Another strategy is to file a case based in the tort of insurance bad faith including a cause of action for misrepresentation or an insurance producer malpractice lawsuit which would allow for a much broader recovery of damages including compensation for general (pain, suffering, etc.) damages.

The decision as to whether either breach of contract or tort claims can be filed is complex and depends on the circumstances of each case. These claims may be brought forward for a wide variety of cases including: insurance agent or broker neglect, improper failure to pay claims, failure to settle within policy limits, intentional delay of payment, improper investigation of claims, and refusal to defend lawsuits.

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  • Shane Harward Law Offices of Shane L. Harward PLC

    10575 North 114th Street
    Suite 103
    Scottsdale, Arizona 85259

    Telephone 480-874-2918
    Facsimile 480-588-5063

    By Appointment Only:
    4809 East Thistle Landing Drive
    Suite 100
    Phoenix, Arizona 85044

    Telephone 602-384-4638

    Mailing Address:
    Post Office Box 12877
    Scottsdale, Arizona 85267