Mansell, Engel & Cole

Oklahoma City Insurance Law Blog

Yes, insurers responding to a claim sometimes do … nothing

Here's a for-real business strategy employed by many insurance companies in response to policyholders' bona-fide coverage claims, as sadly evidenced quite often in media reports across the country: simply do nothing until compelled to do so.

Although that might seem questionable to many of our readers in Oklahoma and elsewhere, it is actually a tried-and-true formula that often leads to success for some entities that are routinely willing to walk a line that borders on -- and, candidly, often strays over into -- bad faith.

Insurer now challenges agreed-to settlement amount in accident case

Insured individuals, families and businesses in Oklahoma and across the country know well from experience that insurance companies are tight with their dollars.

Put another way: It is a commonplace of insurers' business models to willingly take in whatever they can get from premiums paid out by policyholders while trying at the same time to pay out the least amount possible relevant to any given claim.

When the earth moves but your insurance company won't

Whether man-made or from natural causes, earthquakes raise alarm and anxiety. For those who live in Oklahoma, the rumblings of earth are daily events. In fact, the frequency of human-induced earthquakes is on the rise, and a recent geological study warns that almost 3 million people will probably experience the effects of a human-induced earthquake of sizable magnitude in the near future.

After the tremors settle and you have confirmed the safety of loved ones, you probably turn your attention to your home. Even a minor earthquake can cause significant structural damage to a building, so you took the advice of someone you trusted and purchased earthquake insurance for your home. However, what does that insurance cover?

Plaintiff's claim against insurer now a class action suit

Was it a valid use of analysis and contractual interpretation in coming up with a fair insurance payment to a policyholder or, rather, disingenuous sleight-of-hand geared toward purposefully undercutting that individual when paying out on a fire-related property loss?

Paraphrased somewhat for purposes of this blog, that was the core question considered recently by one federal court evaluating a dispute between a national insurer and an aggrieved policyholder. A commercial building that insured party owns in San Francisco suffered extensive loss several years ago.

Couple's damage claim reversed on appeal due to time bar

Following are the material details of an insurance dispute that should resonate in uppercase with any individual or family having a bona-fide claim for damages under an insurance policy.

The bottom line in the case -- a matter recently resolved on appeal in federal court -- is that an insured can marshal truly powerful arguments in equity and law that seemingly promote a winning position, yet flatly lose a case because of one single and narrowly circumscribed factor.

Scary proposition: when the LTC company you've long funded tanks

Most residents across Oklahoma and the rest of the country buy various forms of insurance for a logical and obvious reason: they need safeguards and some assurance against the downsides posed by risk.

Among all the groups that purchase that protection, there is arguably one demographic that stands above all others for being especially vulnerable and justifiably concerned with the integrity and promises of insurance companies that are eagerly taking premiums from its members.

Fighting insurance bad faith situations on behalf of your parent

Many adult children in Oklahoma set aside personal goals and make other sacrifices to help care for their parents. If you're in this type of situation, you likely understand the emotional, physical and financial challenges often associated with such care. If early on-set Alzheimer's disease is part of the equation, the emotional aspect of your particular situation may be greatly intensified. It can be utterly devastating to see a parent under the age of 65 suffer mental decline.

Early on-set Alzheimer's disease plagues many families in this state and throughout the nation. Ongoing research, as well as studies that suggest natural alternatives to conventional medicines and treatments, help many families like yours improve their loved one's quality of life while battling this destructive disease. Problems associated with insurance claims are not uncommon for adult children caring for Alzheimer's afflicted parents. Arming yourself with as much information as possible and knowing where to turn for help may be key factors in overcoming any obstacles that arise.

Manipulating policy language: lawsuit alleges insurer's bad faith

Hartford Life and Accident Insurance Company, Inc., a major arm and subsidiary of the conglomerate commonly referred to in shorthand form as The Hartford, has a commanding national presence.

Including in Oklahoma, where Hartford is a major purveyor of policies -- including life insurance -- to residents across the state.

With health insurance, a delay may be as bad as a denial

Health care and how to pay for it is top of mind for nearly everyone in Oklahoma and the rest of the country right now. The political realities of the issue make it so. But if you or a loved one is on the receiving end of a diagnosis for some major illness that requires significant, long-running treatment, the issue takes on a sense of urgency.

Insurance coverage is in place for many more people than used to be the case because of federal laws. However, that doesn't necessarily mean that the access gates to care have been thrown open. If a legitimate claim comes back underpaid, if payment is delayed, or the claim is denied, battling for benefits you are due becomes a priority – just when you need to be focused on conquering your condition.

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