How to Protect Yourself Against Insurance Fraud

When you hear the phrase “insurance fraud,” you probably think of people trying to cheat insurance providers in order to get more money—for example, someone burning down his house when the house is worth much less than its insurance policy. However, there is a second kind of insurance fraud that can affect you or the people you know. “Insurance bad faith” is a form of fraud wherein an insurance company attempts to cheat the claimant out of the amount that is rightfully theirs, according to the contract. There are many ways for insurance companies to commit this crime. Learning about them will help you protect yourself against insurance fraud.

Common Forms of Insurance Bad Faith

The goal, for an insurance company acting in bad faith, is to avoid paying money that it should pay. The simplest way to do this is to deny claims that should not be denied. For example, suppose you had health insurance that stated that it would cover the cost of an ambulance. When you have an accident and need an ambulance, you call one without hesitation because you know the cost will be covered. However, your insurance provider rejects your claim, going against your contract. This is insurance bad faith.

Another technique that an insurance company might use is to avoid addressing your claim. For example, you submit a claim, and after several months, you still have not heard about whether your claim will be accepted or denied. While the laws about the exact timeline vary from state to state, most states have a specific requirement about how long an insurance company can take to reply to a claim. After all, you might be in financial need of the compensation owed to you. You can protect yourself against insurance fraud by learning what the time period in your state is.

Two other common ways that an insurance company might try to defraud you are by offering you a settlement lower than what it should be, and by misrepresenting the actual terms of your contract to you. Both of these forms of insurance bad faith can be difficult to identify if you are not trained in law. However, if you feel that an insurance claim you have made has led to a smaller settlement than what you expected, you should protect yourself by consulting an insurance fraud attorney.

What You Should Do To Protect Yourself

If you suspect that you have been a victim of insurance bad faith, you should consult an attorney. Because the specific laws of insurance bad faith vary from state to state, and because the specific details of each contract are unique, only a trained professional can determine whether you have a case against a fraudulent insurance provider.

However, if you have in fact been defrauded, then your case can yield justice for you and for others. This is because it is quite common for an insurance company that is acting in bad faith to be doing so systematically, and investigations into a single claim can often reveal hundreds or even thousands of similarly mishandled claims.

If your case is successful in court, you can expect to be paid the money that the insurance company rightfully owes you, but in many cases, you will receive even more. Depending on your case, the court may rule that the company has to pay you interest on the money that they failed to pay you. Additionally, insurance companies acting in bad faith are often required to cover the plaintiff’s legal fees.

On top of those payments, insurance companies sometimes have to pay for emotional damages. After all, an insurance policy is about more than just the money; it is about the peace of mind that you get from knowing that your house, car, or medical bills are covered. When a company withholds the payment, you need to recover from an accident, an injury, or an illness, they inflict emotional damages upon you, and they can be required to pay for them.

Learn Your Rights

The two best ways to protect yourself against insurance fraud from companies acting in bad faith are to educate yourself and to consult a lawyer. Since insurance laws (http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-insurance-law.htm) vary from state to state, you can educate yourself on your state’s specific laws. Secondly, always consult an attorney if you suspect insurance bad faith.

Choose an Insurance Agency for Your Coverage Needs

Are you busy with some financial planning and other sorts of risk mitigation factors? If yes, then you must consider buying insurance. When you’re bearing in mind, the importance of insurance and want to buy one, you surely would be in search for some good insurance agency to offer you just the right thing, you are looking for. Buying insurance, is not that easy, with a wide range or different policies available for a particular asset, it becomes difficult to choose the best one for yourself. Moreover, this being a financial instrument demands attention, you need to go through the nitty-gritties along with other details about the policy, analyze the market risks, compare one policy with the other and much more needs to be understood. In today’s fast paced time, it is very difficult to take out all the time & energy required to understand, compare and buy the right insurance policy. And even if you luckily pick the right sort of policy, surely the documentation and other procedures, will eat up an ample amount of your precious time. Therefore, in today’s busy times, when you demand the best, but have no time to go in for all the details.

It’s important to choose an insurance agency who can help you out, in rightly investing in the exact policy. Buying insurance for any personal or commercial asset, both can be very complex or perplexing at times. Personalized services along with an eye for details, wherein the agent is all willing to invest a good amount of time and energy in deciding what is right for you, is a prerequisite. Insurance whether personal or commercial, both need thorough analysis, as the needs and preferences of each individual or a business can vary. The age, medical condition and other things duly affect the policy decision for an individual, likewise, the nature of business, procedures involves and risk associated can be different. So, they all require individual assessment of needs, risks and requirements involved.

You should and must choose one who, completely understands and give sin all the efforts to really comprehend your financial situation or your commercial set-up’s financial health. The right insurance agency that is willing to offer you, comprehensive coverage for your insurance needs, must first be aware of all your needs and requirements that you expect the insurance policy to provide cover for! Including a thorough analysis and deep research about the risk attributes and the kind of mitigation that would work in the best possible manner. This is only one side of the coin, the trustworthy and reliable insurance agency, would surely take you through the flip side of the coin. Whereby the insurance brokers would explain the terms and conditions involved and the kind of clauses that policy has, in a very simple and convenient manner. Easy for you to understand and get aware of all the related facts, issues and options, regarding the policy.

Providing you detailed and personalized written document that in detail speaks about a particular policy and describes the features of the insurance policy (http://www.ehow.com/how_6853995_issue-insurance-policy.html), the agent should, also further explaining and how it fits into your situation and would be the best possible insurance solution for you. A good agency always treats its client’s right. Therefore, you must never go in for a policy from an agency that, puts you under pressure, to take a decision, you should go ahead with the policy and insurance agency, where the agents explain you about the benefits of the policy, and you easily get convinced that what you are doing what is best for you! Also, taking the feedback of your lawyer, accountant, friends, relatives and business associates, regarding the reputation of the insurance agency is utmost important and always help you stay away from the wrong insurance agencies.

How an Insurance Broker Can Help You

An insurance broker is a person who sells and negotiates insurance for the compensation. In the United States, the state regulates the insurance brokers. The person obtaining a broker’s license must take pre-licensing courses and pass the exam. The insurance broker also needs to send an application to the state in which he or she wants to do the business.

There is less difference between an insurance agent and an insurance broker. An insurance agent is a representative of the insurance company, whereas, the insurance broker represents the insured who has no contractual agreements with the insurance carriers.

Insurance brokers are an inevitable part of any business process. They can offer business services that include risk management, services related to consultants and financing investment. Large businesses hire insurance brokers and insurance agents are mostly preferred by the small business companies.

The insurance brokers in the United States offer a lot of services along with a wide range of products for various customer needs. All the products are competitively priced with the new and renewal contract commission.

The main benefits that an insurance broker offers include the following.

•  Support for independent agents

•  Strong relationship building

•  Highest possible commission for the products

•  High level of professional services

Financial risk is becoming common and so is the need for insurance brokers. Insurance brokers are considered as a great way to deal with heavy risks in the market. Efficient actions need to be taken in order to overcome these risks in the market. The insurance brokers have all the information about the insurance services needed in the industry. An insurance broker may be able to provide great services that are not possible by an individual.

The main functions performed by an insurance broker are:

•  Obtaining information about the business of the client and all the risk management strategies

•  Understanding the business of the client in order to use the information while meeting an insurer

•  Render insurance terms and conditions

•  Maintain record of all the available insurance markets

•  Submitting a quotation from the insurer to the client

•  Acting on the client’s suggestions and instructions

•  Assisting the client in paying the right premium

•  Provide services for the risk management

•  Maintaining all the proper records

It is important for every business owner to understand the benefits of an insurance broker. The broker will always present the business with new insurance ideas and plans that can be very fruitful for the business in a long term. The business owner has many other responsibilities, and it becomes difficult for the owner of the business to look at each insurance policy. A business, whether small or large, are prone to heavy risks. So an insurance broker is required who can protect your company from a variety of factors. Risk management strategy is very important for every business and a proper insurance coverage is one of the keystones of this strategy.

Insurance companies play an important role in the businesses. The main function of an insurance broker is to look for various insurance types and their sources. An insurance broker is the only one that can make the business selects the right insurance policy (http://www.ehow.com/how_6853995_issue-insurance-policy.html).

The first step in a risk management strategy is to find the right insurance company. The insurance broker can give you a list of insurance companies to select from. The broker will do all the necessary work for you and you just need to sit and choose the right insurance company for your business.

If you are a great business owner in the United States, then it is advisable to have an insurance broker for your business.