If you have an accident, you’ll want the peace of mind that your insurance company isn’t going to stiff you and not respond to your claim. The Insurance Fair Conduct Act (IFCA) protects policy owners and bestows upon them certain rights with insurance companies they hold policies with. Before we take a deeper dive into how this can help you as a consumer and policyholder, let’s go ahead and look at what makes the IFCA tick.
What is the IFCA?
The IFCA essentially gives you the right to pursue a class action lawsuit if your insurance company acts in bad faith. “Bad faith” must be determined by the court for the lawsuit to be successful, but it would generally include things like not answering letters, not returning calls, unreasonably denying coverage and other general signs that your insurance company is treating you unfairly.
Who is Protected by the IFCA?
If you have an insurance policy (excluding health insurance – that is protected by another piece of legislation), then you are protected by the IFCA. If your house floods and your flood insurance company dodges your calls for months, you would be eligible to pursue a class action lawsuit due to their act of bad faith.
Although this does offer the insured some protection against their insurance companies, it isn’t a total shield from unfairness from insurance companies, as bad faith or unreasonable coverage will have to be proven in court and partial denial or disagreement with claim value is always an option.
How Can IFCA Help?
The IFCA can help in several ways. First and foremost, it acts as a deterrent for insurance companies to act in bad faith, and creates an obligation to do more diligent business with their policyholders. Next, it offers a chance of compensation to soften the blow of whatever the cost is to fix, replace or pay caused by the set of circumstances surrounding the mishandled insurance claim. Lost wages, medical bills, car repairs – compensation for costs like these are generally what is yielded from successful IFCA bad faith lawsuits, in addition to attorney and filing fees.
The IFCA helps to balance the legal playing field between insurance companies and their policyholders, and it acts as a lifeline for those who get unfairly shortchanged or outright denied on a claim. Have additional questions? Give us a call today to learn more about how we can help with your denied insurance claim.