When you are in a total loss accident in Georgia, you expect to be taken care of by your insurance provider. You should not have to fight to prove a claim but unfortunately, insurance companies routinely deny claims for fear of fraud. According to recent consumer allegations, insurance companies may also not be reimbursing their policyholders for the full value of their total loss vehicle.
The State of Georgia has a safeguard in effect to protect an insured in the event that you are being denied coverage for your total loss accident. Insurance companies sometimes deny claims unfairly and this is when you need the help of an experienced lawyer. They can negotiate for you and bring your lawsuit to trial for fair compensation.
Georgia’s Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act Explained
Georgia’s Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act – UCSPA was created “to set forth standards for the investigation and disposition of claims arising under policies or certificates of insurance issued to residents of Georgia.” There are 14 acts that are set out which represent unfair claims settlements when they are committed.
- Flagrant disregard for state insurance laws
- A frequency that indicates conscious disregard as a business practice
- Not implementing procedures to settle claims under its policy.
- Not attempting prompt, equitable settlement of claims when liability is clear
- Offering less than recovered in suits brought by them, compelling insurers to file a suit.
- Not conducting reasonable investigations before refusing to pay out claims.
- Not responding to the insured in a timely manner about the status of a claim when requested.
- Not providing clarity regarding claim payments to the insured as to the coverage under which the payment is being paid.
- Requiring duplicate verification of a formal proof of loss that delays the investigation or payment of a claim.
- Not providing an accurate explanation of a claim denial or compromise settlement when the insured has requested one in writing.
- Not providing the necessary forms for filing a claim within 15 days of a request to do so.
- Not adopting and implementing reasonable standards that assure repairs of a repairer owned by the insurer are made in a way that is customarily done by other contractors in the community.
- Language that states that a payment is final or it releases any claim unless the policy limit has been paid or settlement reached between the insurer and the claimant as to the coverage and amount paid within the contract.
- Language included in a partial settlement that states the insurer is released from the total liability.
Insurance Companies Not Negotiating in Good Faith?
Courts often admit evidence about insurance companies’ bad faith actions through a violation of the UCSPA. Because the Georgia insurance commissioner enforces the Act, there is no private right of action. An insured can however use any evidence of a violation of the Act as evidence in court.
Determining Total Loss in the State of Georgia
It’s up to the insurance company to determine that an accident qualifies as a total loss. Circumstances include whether a vehicle can be safely repaired and does not exceed the damage threshold in the state. Also, the repairs must not cost more than the value of the vehicle.
If you were insured by an auto insurance agency in the last 5 years and had a total loss car accident where the insurer has not reimbursed for sales tax and other fees, you may qualify to join a total loss car accident class action lawsuit investigation. These lawsuits claim insurance companies have violated their own contracts by not reimbursing policyholders for sales tax, title transfer fees, tag transfer fees, and more after a total loss car accident.
An Experienced Lawyer in Georgia Can Provide Legal Guidance
Shamis & Gentile specialize in total loss car accidents in Georgia and can assist you in getting fair compensation for your loss. We provide outstanding legal services in Georgia and our experience and legal resources can handle virtually any case involving personal injury, class action, and contract disputes. Let our team give you legal guidance in your total loss in Georgia. Contact us today for more information.