Insurance is purchased by the consumer to protect ourselves from claims and lawsuits. We know that we have to have insurance on our vehicles, our homes, our business, and our health. Such insurance coverage gives us piece of mind that in the event something happens – car accident, fire at your home, health emergencies or surgical procedures – that we can look to the insurance company for quick and professional action and coverage. We are careful to make sure the payments get paid and received on time so that there is no lapse in coverage and no gap in protecting us from any claims or lawsuits. We do our end of the bargain, but sometimes the insurance company does not. There are often too many times when an insurance company acts in “bad faith” to its customers when paying claims and providing the coverage we bought.
At the Barudin Law Firm, we are mindful of how important insurance is to our clients and the expectations that the insurance company will honor their contracts and commitments to cover us when such claims are presented. New Mexico law requires that insurance companies treat its customers with “good faith and fair dealings.” The New Mexico Unfair Trade Practices Act and the New Mexico Insurance Code assist customers in dealing with insurance claims and those insurance companies who act in bad faith in claims handling in the improper denial of claims or paying too little to fairly and reasonably compensate its insurance customers, whether it is for personal injuries, damages to your home, denial of health coverage, or termination of coverage.
Insurance bad faith is often associated with punitive damage awards against insurance companies. If an insurance company acts in bad faith, it may be subject to punitive damages, the law of insurance bad faith essentially requires an insurance company to act fairly and in good faith towards its policyholders and to consider the interests of its policyholders equal to its own interests. It also prohibits an insurance company form denying or delaying a claim unreasonable without proper cause.
If an insurance company breaks this law, the policyholder can collect more that what is contractually owed under their policy. In addition, the policyholder can collect damages caused by the unreasonable denial of benefits or unreasonable delay in processing the claim, including such damages as emotional distress, economic losses and attorney fees. If an insurance company acts in an outrageous or malicious manner punitive damages can also be awarded by a jury.
At Barudin Law Firm, we have successfully handled insurance claims, including insurance “bad faith” claims. We have tried these cases to completion with success or have presented such cases for settlement prior to trial.
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Contact us for your free consultation:
Albuquerque: (505) 332-1800
Toll Free NM/AZ: (888) 298-1180
Fax: (505) 271-1888
Office Hours Monday thru Friday: 8:00-4:00