Many people have heard the term “bad faith” thrown around in legal jargon. What many people don’t know is what exactly that means.
For quite some time, those in the legal field didn’t know, either. At least, there were no laws clearly outlining the definition of “bad faith” as it applies to Pennsylvania law.
That is, until recently, when the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania finally confirmed the standard in PA for bad faith.
To receive a ruling on a bad faith claim, the Plaintiff needs to prove two things:
- That the insurer did not have a reasonable basis for denying benefits under the policy.
- That the insurer knew or recklessly disregarded its lack of reasonable basis.
Most importantly, “self interest or ill will” is not necessary to show bad faith. While that evidence is helpful, it is not a requirement. On top of that, the Court confirmed that you do not need “self interest or ill will” to get punitive damages. These are damages meant purely as a punishment for the insurance company.
While this standard has been a long held belief of attorneys in the industry, it was never clearly defined. We have been successful on countless Bad Faith claims in the past and look to continue fighting for homeowners and business owners rights.
Obviously, all of these changes are extremely good news for homeowners. If you’re interested in reading more about the case which led to this important change in the law, click here.
If you’re about to file a claim against your insurer and feel a bad faith claim is also justified, give us a call. We’ll review your insurance policy, discuss your case, and make sure you get the money you deserve.
Click here to speak with an attorney at Wheeler, DiUlio, & Barnabei.
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