Suing your insurance carrier


What does it mean to sue your own insurance carrier? We all know in basic terms what it means, namely to bring a lawsuit against your insurance carrier, but what is the significance of it? There is a lot of apprehension surrounding this notion… including “Will my carrier drop me?” “Will they raise my rates?” The bottom line is you pay for insurance each year providing the insurance carrier with hundreds if not often thousands of your own dollars that they hold onto for the “in case” situation. They collect it, saying it is for “your benefit” but then punish you if you want to use it? Doesn’t it make sense to take some of that back? Especially when you are injured due to no fault of your own and need it? It is no different than paying for health insurance and then not using it when you go to the doctor/hospital. No one would do that! We should not be afraid to use motor vehicle insurance in the same way. 

Ferrylaw is a firm that is not afraid to go after the big corporations to see that you get something back for the insurance policies you have paid into for all of these years. When these corporations continue to hold onto your money without paying what you are owed, this can be considered bad faith on their part. What is bad faith? In the context of an uninsured/underinsured motorist claim – either where the driver who is responsible for the accident does not have insurance (uninsured) or is not adequately insured (underinsured), your carrier has a duty of good faith and fair dealing. What is that? It means they owe you an obligation to review your claim in a timely and effective manner and pay you what is justly owed to you. It is a greater duty than what they would owe if you were merely someone bringing a claim against one of their drivers. When you are insured by these big insurance companies, they must treat you “special” and when they fail to do so, this can be considered bad faith. 

Insurance companies holding onto your money

We recently handled a case against one of the largest insurance carriers out there, Geico, and took the claim all the way to trial where our client was given a verdict of $2.2 million dollars – over 25 times the carrier’s last offer at $79,000.00. It took Geico over two years to offer our client $79,000.00 only to be told by a sensible group of people (a jury of her peers) that her harms and losses were worth more than 25 times this amount. Given this fact and Geico’s failure to offer a reasonable amount, we brought a bad faith claim that is now up on appeal. Insurance companies should not and cannot be allowed to hold onto our money to their benefit and our detriment. Our client was forced to endure the long and painstaking journey of going all the way to and through a trial only to be told what we knew all along, that her claim was worth well in excess of what Geico was willing to pay her (their own insured). Now that is bad faith at its finest.  Imagine if our client was too afraid to go after her own carrier or tried to handle it on her own. She would be left a fraction of what she was entitled to. Unfortunately, her policy was capped at the $79,000 which Geico finally offered at trial. However, without taking them all the way to the courthouse steps, she would not have obtained anywhere close to that. Their last offer prior to trial was less than half the policy limits.  It is important to hold these companies accountable, particularly where it is your own carrier committing these bad acts.