When you are dealing with claiming disability, having the insurance company act unfairly toward you can be a huge setback. Not acting expeditiously and justly towards clients is called "acting in bad faith." This is not only aggravating, it is illegal.
In essence, an insurance company cannot deny your claim without good reason or, if they do have reason, without doing a timely investigation of the situation. In Wisconsin, the bases of bad faith are expanded a bit to include:
- Failing to provide insurance when there is not realistic reason not to do so
- Unreasonable settlement offers that would not cover the claimer’s expenses
- Workers’ compensation not covering the claimer
Other actions, such as deceptive practices, abusive tactics to settle a claim and deliberative misinterpretation of documents and records can also be considered bad faith. Essentially, if the insurance company does not offer a fair and timely settlement or a real reason why they will not, they could be subject to a lawsuit.
It is not just frustration and emotional distress insurance companies acting in bad faith would be subject to. Most likely, you had to cover your own medical expenses and other costs while you were waiting for the disability check to come. A bad faith lawsuit could cover this, as well as other expenditures like attorney fees.
Insurance policies are typically written by lawyers, so understanding them can be especially difficult. Anyone in Wisconsin who is dealing with a short-term or long-term disability insurance claim denial may want to contact an experienced attorney. They may be able to figure out whether the insurance company acted in bad faith and help you decide your course of action.