The unfortunate reality is that it is very difficult to prove “bad faith” in New York, but not impossible. Bad Faith in New York requires a showing of egregious conduct on behalf of an insurer – which means you have to prove that they are engaging in disingenuous or dishonest behavior.
While it is difficult to prove the claim, bad faith activity is easy it spot. If an insurance company is not handling a claim in a timely, honest manner, chances are they are acting in bad faith. A few examples of this:
- Dragging feet on setting up a property damage inspection;
- Failing to evaluate your claim until they receive “cooperation” from their insured;
- Failing to properly investigate your claim;
- Refusing to pay your claim despite having received all necessary proof;
- Failing to negotiate settlement within the policy limits of their insured;
- Failing to foresee a verdict in excess of the policy limits;
- Failing to inform an insured of settlement negotiations;
- Failing to deny a claim within a reasonable time;
Unfortunately many New York insurance carriers engage in this type of activity on an ongoing basis. Being able to spot it and call them out on it may help in the negotiation process.