Mansell, Engel & Cole

Bad faith writ large: Where did that insurance policy come from?

There are many fascinating – yet, for policyholders, disconcerting and too often tragic – stories in the annals of insurance companies’ bad-faith conduct toward consumers.

We have spotlighted many of them on our pro-policyholders’ insurance law blog at the tenured Oklahoma City law firm of Mansell, Engel & Cole. Our deep legal team collectively commands many decades of on-point and proven experience calling out insurers’ bad-faith behavior that unlawfully deprives individuals and families of contractual benefits they are entitled to.

We push for strong and meaningful remedies to safeguard the rights of policyholders who have suffered losses that are unquestionably payable under their policies, yet are responded to by insurers’ push back rather than cooperation.

That should never happen, in Oklahoma or elsewhere. An insurer with a reciprocal duty to perform under an insurance policy should promptly respond in good faith to a legitimate claim filed by a customer. Policyholders who keep up their end of the contractual bargain via timely and fully paid premiums have a flat right to assume that their insurers will also act responsibly when the time comes to perform.

Concededly, many of them do so much of the time. After all, the insurance industry would fail miserably if nonperformance was the norm rather than the exception.

Still, though, the sheer amount of the above-cited lapses in insurers’ good-faith responses to policy claims is unquestioned and troublesome. And it too often turns policyholders’ lives upside down, resulting in major dislocations, heartache and serious personal loss.

One large national insurer was recently called to task by government insurance regulators for policy-linked conduct that was not only financially harmful to its customers, but novel as well. That company was actually charging consumers for policies that they weren’t even aware of.

We’ll delve into the material details of that case in our next blog post.

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