New York Insurance Dispute Attorney

When someone files a claim with their insurance company, they might assume it will be handled objectively, expediently, and in congruence with the terms of their policy agreement.

Unfortunately, however, insurance companies often prioritize their bottom line over their clients, and it is not uncommon for disputes to arise due to claims being mishandled or wrongfully denied. While the prospect of a dispute with your insurance company might seem daunting, with the right support, it is possible to recover what you are owed regardless of how large or intimidating your insurance provider may seem.

At Halperin & Halperin, P.C., our firm has decades of experience resolving insurance disputes, and if you suspect that your claim has been mishandled or your insurance company is acting in bad faith, call us today. Our insurance dispute attorneys offer free consultations, and they would be happy to advise you on the best path forward.

new york insurance dispute attorney
how insurance disputes occur

How and Why Insurance Disputes Occur

According to the Insurance Information Institute, the insurance industry contributes an estimated $630 billion to the U.S. GDP annually. First and foremost, insurance providers are for-profit companies, and oftentimes, disputes with policyholders are a result of the insurer’s reluctance to honor costly policies, even if the claim is legitimate. In many cases, this occurs in the form of an insurance company wrongfully denying a policyholder’s claim, citing their claim to be either not covered, against a previously canceled policy, or any number of other reasons that would abdicate them of responsibility if true. 

In some instances, insurance companies will employ more deliberate and malicious tactics to avoid honoring agreements with policyholders. This may include misrepresenting information to the insured about their coverage, rude or intimidating behavior on the part of insurance adjusters, or advising policyholders not to seek legal counsel to resolve their claim. However, when these tactics are used, either instead of or in conjunction with a wrongfully denied claim, the insurance company may be found to have acted in bad faith and thereby in violation of New York law.

New York Insurance Law §2601: Unfair Claims Settlement Practices

Under New York Insurance Law §2601: Unfair Claims Settlement Practices, insurance companies are prohibited from a wide range of dishonest business tactics, including:

  • Knowingly misrepresenting to claimants pertinent facts or policy provisions relating to coverages at issue.
  • Failing to acknowledge with reasonable promptness pertinent communications as to claims arising under its policies.
  • Failing to adopt and implement reasonable standards for the prompt investigation of claims arising under its policies.
  • Not attempting in good faith to effectuate prompt, fair, and equitable settlements of claims submitted in which liability has become reasonably clear. 
 

While any claimant whose insurance company has violated these standards may be entitled to further legal action, pursuing bad faith claims is often difficult. It is best to consult with an experienced insurance dispute attorney on the matter.

Common Types of Policies Involved in Insurance Disputes

Auto Insurance

While auto insurance claims can turn into legal disputes for a number of reasons, oftentimes, it is the result of an insurer either wrongfully denying the claim, attempting to settle it for considerably less than it is worth, or arguing it is not covered under the policy in question. To avoid unnecessary auto insurance disputes and know when a claim has been wrongfully denied, it is crucial that policyholders review what is and isn’t covered by their car insurance. Ultimately, resolving these types of disputes will depend on the specifics of the claim in question and the type of coverage included under the insured’s policy (e.g., bodily injury, property damage, uninsured motorist, etc.). 

If you have submitted a claim to your auto insurance provider and you believe that claim has either been wrongfully denied or not honored to its true value, it is imperative that you seek counsel from an experienced insurance dispute attorney.

Life/Disability/Health Insurance

According to the U.S. Social Security Administration, 1 in 4, or 25%, of today’s 20 year-olds will become disabled before they reach retirement. This alarming fact underscores why so many invest in life, disability, and health insurance in order to provide a safe and secure future for their families. However, given the costly nature of these claims, insurance providers can be especially hesitant to provide the insured with the benefits to which they are entitled. They may dispute the facts of the claim, the coverage of the policy in question, or choose to stall for any number of reasons and thereby delay the policyholder’s benefits. 

In some cases, insurance companies may refuse to pay out what is owed to medical providers after an insured party has received treatment following an accident. When this occurs, policyholders can be left on the hook for enormous medical bills that are not their responsibility to pay, and healthcare providers often incur illegitimate deficits. If your insurance company is attempting to shirk its responsibility pertaining to your life, disability, and/or health insurance claim, do not fight them alone. Consult an experienced New York insurance dispute attorney immediately. 

Homeowners Insurance/Property Damage

For homeowners, property damage can be an unavoidable and unpredictable risk. While investing in insurance can help mitigate this risk; unfortunately, even the most comprehensive policies are vulnerable to maladministration. According to the Insurance Information Institute, there are several ways insurance providers can attempt to devalue the insured’s property damage claim, including:

  • Disputing whether or not the damage is covered by the insured’s policy
  • Denying coverage of peripheral costs included under the insured’s policy (e.g., temporary housing, tree removal, and water damage) if applicable
  • Devaluing the items which were damaged/broken
  • Underestimating the cost of repairs 

To limit your insurance provider’s ability to devalue future claims, it can be helpful to photograph or otherwise document the items in your home and keep updated appraisals for any, especially valuable items.

What to Do if your Insurance Claim was Wrongfully Denied

If you believe your claim has been wrongfully denied, there are several steps that can be taken to increase the chances of receiving the compensation you are owed. Keep in mind that time is of the essence, and it is often in the best interest of your insurer to prolong the dispute resolution process. 

 

  1. Read the fine print of your insurance policy, what it covers, and if there are any relevant deadlines for submitting claims, disputing claims, etc. 
  2. Review your claim and your insurance provider’s rationale for denying your claim
  3. Keep all documentation relevant to your claim and the interactions you have had with your insurance provider regarding your claim. 
  4. Contact an experienced New York insurance dispute attorney.

Contact Us

If you are having difficulties resolving a dispute with your insurance provider, it is crucial that you find an experienced and trustworthy legal team. At Halperin & Halperin P.C., we have decades of experience standing up to insurance companies, and our attorneys have successfully litigated even the most challenging of cases.

We take pride in treating every prospective client like family, and if one of our attorneys cannot help you directly, we will assist you in finding someone who can.

Call or email us today for a free consultation.