Your insurance policy is a contract, and just as with any other legally binding contract in California, both parties must adhere to the terms. However, when it comes to insurance settlements, there may seem to be a lot of gray areas in regard to how much the company must pay in order to treat you fairly. According to the California Department of Insurance, there are state standards to ensure that you receive a fair settlement.
Perhaps you believe the settlement offer you received is unreasonably low. Before you request that the California Department of Insurance review the claim, you should understand that the Commissioner will evaluate the circumstances based on these important questions:
- Did the insurer fully consider all the evidence you provided in support of your claim?
- What procedures did the insurer use in coming to a determination of the dollar amount for your damages?
- How thoroughly did the insurer consider the available evidence and legal authority?
- What amount did the claims adjuster say your damages are worth, and does the company's offer reflect that amount?
- Did the insurance company's legal counsel inform it that you were likely to recover more than the limits of your policy?
The Commissioner will also consider any evidence you can provide indicating that the settlement amount is lower than what any reasonable person who has the same information about the facts of your case would have offered. Because the facts of every case are unique, outcomes cannot be predicted; therefore, this general information should not be taken as legal advice.