Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Montana law requires all drivers to have auto insurance. Many drivers have only minimum amount permitted of $25,000. Some drivers choose to drive without insurance. This is where “uninsured motorist,” “underinsured motorist,” and “medical payments” insurance comes in. “Uninsured motorist” applies when the unsafe driver had no insurance. “Underinsured motorist” applies when the unsafe driver did not have enough insurance.
Insurance companies use various tactics to minimize the value of claims made by their own customers. They often force their customers to see an insurance doctor, who will say the person was not hurt in the crash. Sometimes the insurance company fails to tell the customer that they can make an insurance claim even if their bills are being paid and that a claim like this will not affect their insurance rates. Many people are afraid to make a claim against their own insurance because they think it will raise their rates. The fact is, if the crash was caused by an unsafe driver, a claim against your own insurance cannot raise your rates.
We routinely represent clients in claims against their own insurance companies. Recently, we won an important case at the Montana Supreme Court that makes insurance company who low-balled its own customer pay the attorney fees incurred because the customer was forced to sue the insurance company.
Insurance Bad Faith
When insurance companies do not follow the rules, that is called bad faith. Bad faith is often the result of poor training and supervision of insurance company employees. We represent people that have been harmed by insurance companies that have chosen to violate claim rules. Often, these cases require the deposition of many insurance company representatives to demonstrate that the insurance company’s policies are designed to unfairly evaluate claims. We often hire claim-handling experts and even lawyers in the insurance field to prove that the insurance company has committed bad faith.