Everybody assumes that their insurance company is always looking out for their best interests above the interests of the company. While this is often the case, we unfortunately also see the opposite being true in some instances. That’s where we come in. As experts in Charlotte insurance litigation, Ballantyne Legal defends and represents our clients in matters involving:
Insurance Bad Faith
“Insurance companies are acting in bad faith when they are looking out for their best interest while neglecting their policyholders’ needs,” said Ballantyne lawyer Thomas Bumgardner. “You want to be paid the money you’re owed to rectify your situation, whether it be paying medical bills or fixing property damage. Insurance companies, however, want to pay as little as possible. The insurance company may minimize payouts or simply deny a claim to help protect their profits.”
First and Third-Party Claims
If you are new to insurance law, it can be confusing when you hear references to first and third party claims. We’re here to help! There are two main parties included in the insurance contract. The insured refers to as the “first party”. The insurance company is understood to be the unmentioned “second party”. Finally, the “third party” is someone who is a stranger to the policy. Essentially, this person is someone who isn’t the insured or the insurer.
A first party claim is one that is paid directly to the insured. A third party claim is one that deals with damage or harm done to a third party (someone who isn’t the insured or the insurance company). The Law Office of Thomas D. Bumgardner can help with both types of claims.
The “excess coverage” policy (often referred to as an “umbrella policy”) is only obligated to provide coverage over a specific limit that is defined in the primary policy. Some states, North Carolina being one of them, allow the stacking of policies. Insurance companies will rarely, if ever, make the policyholder aware of the full amount of coverage available to them. After an accident, it’s important to understand just how much coverage you’re entitled.
Often, the only way a policyholder can figure this out is through written demands for information, subpoenas, or other court-ordered demands for this information after a lawsuit is filed. This is where we come in. We are very familiar with how to find this information through the civil procedure and also how to interpret it to get you the coverage you are entitled.
Breach of Contract
When an insurance company breaches its contract, it is important for the policyholder to know their rights. Big insurance companies are very good at writing their contracts to be worded very specifically. Judges in courts interpret the words of these contracts, and any personal or subjective expectation of the policyholder that can’t be supported by the language of the contract is technically unenforceable.
Exclusions and limitations in a policy must be clear and concise in how they are worded. Because these contracts can be incredibly confusing to the common person, allow us to be your guide and make sure that you aren’t being taken advantage of.
Reservation of Rights
“A Reservation of Rights statement prevents claims in the future that that person waived legal rights that are held under contract, copyright, or any other kind of law,” said Bumgardner. “We often see this occur when an insurance company issues a Reservation of Rights letter saying that it may deny coverage for all or part of the claim, even while the claim is being investigated.”
An insurer’s reservation of rights is a key step in the context of liability insurance. The insurer may provide a defense to the insured, seemingly protecting the insured from the liabilities that may result from a civil suit.
Let’s say you get sued along with several other additional or named insured parties. You receive a policy limits demand that is reasonable, but perhaps the limit isn’t enough to settle all claims against you and all of the defendants. Who gets the money in this instance? Sometimes situations will arise like this one where an insurance policy is a subject of competing or conflicting claims for policy limits.
This blog should not be considered legal advice. If you have any questions about legal separation and divorce laws in North Carolina, or to schedule a free consultation, please call (704) 870-4779 or e-mail insurance litigation lawyer, Thomas Bumgardner. The Law Office of Thomas D. Bumgardner is committed to fighting for your rights and helping you reach the best solution for you and your family.