Dealing with insurance companies can be difficult even when you have an obvious claim that they must cover. However, that does not mean the adjuster will be very receptive when the claim is evaluated. Insurance claims adjusters are required by Arizona law to process claims in an expedited fashion, including conducting a full investigation into the facts. The problem for many claimants is that many times the claims adjuster will have information that they think they can use to reduce or even deny the claim. This can typically result in either a very low offer to settle the claim, a delayed processing of payment, or an outright denial. Any of these could justify a bad faith claim.
Purposely delaying a claim
Purposely delaying a claim is the first indication that a claimant may have an adjuster who does not want to comply completely with state regulations. This is actually very common in many bad faith insurance claims. Sometimes this is also used as encouragement in convincing a claimant to accept a settlement offer that is well below the appropriate value.
Making a significantly low offer
Claimants and insurance companies often do not agree on a claim value, and it is not unusual for an agent to make an offer for less than what may be expected. However, will also often be vague about why an offer is so low and will not disclose full insurance coverage amounts. This can be a potential bad faith action as well when all elements of the claim are evaluated financially and combined.
All insurance companies are frugal when they assess claims because they are a business first and foremost. And, they all want to settle a case for less than full value. But they do have to operate within the rules, and many times even their standard company procedure can come very close to bad faith activity when they are not being kept honest.