Finding out that your insurance claim has been denied can be a heart-stopping moment. It is likely that you had a lot riding on the claim being successful, and being told that you do not have sufficient grounds to receive a pay-out can be a serious blow, both financially and emotionally.
However, if you have been told that your insurance claim has been denied, it is important not to give up. You have a number of options open to you, including appealing the decision and pursuing litigation. In some instances the insurance company may even have acted in ‘bad faith’, meaning that you could be entitled to damages above and beyond the original claim.
Appealing the decision
There are many different types of insurance claim, including a home insurance claim, disability insurance claim, ICBC claim, a life insurance claim and a business interruption claim.
Whatever type of insurance claim you are making, if your claim has been denied, you might want to investigate the appeals process. Each insurer will have their own appeals process which is open those who have had a claim denied, or partly denied (meaning they will not receive the full amount of damages).
Speak to a lawyer
But before embarking on the appeals process, we strongly recommend that you speak to an insurance lawyer first.
This is because a legal professional will be able to tell you whether you have the grounds to make an appeal. Sometimes the decision made by the insurance company is in fact fair, no matter how heart-breaking that may be. Even so, you may appreciate this clarification, and it will mean that you avoid spending further time and worry on the appeals process.
But if there is scope to make an appeal, an insurance lawyer can help to maximize your chances of success. Remember that your claim has been denied for a reason, yet you will not necessarily have been told why. Unless you resolve the problem, it is likely that your claim will simply be denied for a second time.
An insurance lawyer will be able to rectify any errors or omissions that may have led to the claim being denied. Your legal representative can also look for ways to strengthen your case, be through bringing new evidence to light, rewording statements or drawing upon legal technicalities and arguments.
The other advantage of speaking to an insurance lawyer before appealing your insurance claim is that you can find out what other options are open to you.
One such option could be to make a claim for ‘bad faith’. Bad faith is when an insurer does not treat you fairly and in good faith. Examples might include an insurance company significantly undervaluing a claim, delaying payment of a claim, or denying a claim unjustly.
It can be difficult to know when an insurer has acted in bad faith, as it will vary from case to case. An insurance lawyer will be able to review the wording of your policy, and the actions of the insurer, and can subsequently advise whether or not your insurer has acted in bad faith.
If so, you could be entitled to pursue litigation. This may result in you receiving financial damages that are above and beyond the original value of your insurance claim.
Vancouver insurance lawyers
If your insurance claim has been denied, please do not give up straightaway. Just because an insurer has made a decision, it does not necessarily mean that it is the right decision. We can advise you of your options, and can help you obtain the money to which you are rightfully entitled. There will be time limitations contained in the contract of insurance that you are dealing with. It is best to seek advice as soon as you encounter a problem with the insurer.
To find out more about the ways in which we can help you, please do not hesitate to contact us at North Shore Law LLP.