You buy insurance for one reason. To protect you and your family in the event something goes wrong. It might be a homeowner’s policy to protect your house, auto insurance, or a disability insurance policy to cover your income if you become unable to work because of an injury or illness. It might be a policy to protect your business. It might be life insurance to protect your family if the unthinkable happens. You pay the insurance premiums faithfully and in return get (you think) the protection and “peace of mind” that the insurance offers. Everything is fine. Until you make a claim and experience non-payment of insurance.
What’s at Stake
Your property, your income, and your family’s security.
Your claim is denied wrongfully.
For private insurance (insurance not purchased through your work) South Carolina law requires that insurance companies act in “good faith” toward their customers. In general, this means that the insurance company must treat its insured customer’s interests at least as highly as it treats its own. If the insurer wrongfully puts its desire to make a profit or avoid a loss above your interests as an insured, you can sue and recover not only the value of the policy, but punitive damages and attorney’s fees.
If you get your insurance through your job, your claim denial may be governed by a federal law called the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). ERISA covers all types of employee benefits, including health insurance, pension, and disability insurance benefits. Most ERISA cases that are filed as lawsuits end up in federal court, which has special requirements for handling ERISA cases that may be very different from the way other cases are handled. While ERISA allows the opportunity to have your case for benefits heard by a judge, having a competent attorney assist you — as early in the process as possible — is critical.
We are experienced in cases against insurance companies for failure to pay property, business, health, life and disability claims. If you have been denied benefits rightfully due, contact us.