Illinois Unfair Claims Practice Defense Lawyers
Skilled Insurance Law Defense Attorneys Serving Clients in Chicago and Nationwide
The insurance industry is heavily regulated. Under the Illinois Insurance Code (215 ILCS 5), insurers are legally obligated to act in good faith by dealing reasonably with injured parties, fairly evaluating claims, and settling claims in a timely manner. Most other states have similar laws. When a consumer believes an insurer has acted in bad faith, they may file an unfair claims practice lawsuit. When this occurs, insurers need experienced attorneys by their side fighting aggressively to defend their interests.
At Brady Connolly & Masuda, P.C., we have provided skilled insurance law and litigation defense since 1997. Our award-winning attorneys frequently represent clients in Illinois and nationwide, and we have defended clients for unfair claims practices in virtually every regulatory environment. Whether you operate out of one of the many states that utilize some variation of the Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act, or an area such as the District of Columbia where no bad faith cause of action exists to bring against a first-party insurer, we have the extensive experience and an in-depth knowledge necessary to put our clients in a position to secure a favorable resolution.
Defending an Unfair Claims Practice Suit
Unfair Claims Practice/Bad Faith litigation often involves one of two scenarios:
- The insurance company did not pay a claim that was believed to be valid (first-party unfair claims).
- The insurance company refused to defend a lawsuit against the insured, or provided a defense that was not in keeping with the best interests of the insured (third-party unfair claims).
In first-party unfair claims practice cases, there are several potential routes of defense, including:
- Reasonable Refusal: the claim was legitimately not covered by the policy;
- Excessive Claim: the claim was larger than was covered by the policy;
- Statute of Limitations: the claim was made after the statute of limitations of the policy expired;
- Contract Language Error: the claim was submitted in error because the language of the contract was misinterpreted;
- Void Policy: the claim was made on a policy that was invalid, usually because of material misrepresentations made by the insured during the application process.
In third party cases, all of the above may apply, and there are several other potential defenses, including:
- Good Faith Refusal to Defend: the insurer legitimately believed that the lawsuit brought against the insured would be trivial to defend;
- Nullified Insurance Contract: the insured did something to violate the contract during the litigation process, or mislead the insurer during the litigation process, resulting in the policy becoming invalidated;
- Advice of Competent Counsel: the insurer was following the advice of reasonably competent legal counsel in defending the suit and believed the advice given was correct;
- Exclusion from Coverage: the insurance contract contains an exclusion that the insurer believed released them from their duty to defend.
Regardless of which defense is appropriate, we employ the same basic strategy; to rapidly and thoroughly investigate the claim and develop a rock solid case before we engage with the other side. Experience has shown us that when we are well-prepared early on, we retain maximum leverage and greatly increase the chances of ending the case quickly and at a lower cost to our client.
For a personalized consultation with one of our experienced Illinois unfair claims practice defense attorneys, contact us today at 312-425-3131. From our offices in Chicago and Bloomington/Normal, we provide skilled representation for clients based in Illinois and nationwide.