Imagine that you are away for a weekend. While gone, you find out that a big storm has rolled through Oklahoma City. You immediately return to your house only to learn that your home sustained considerable property damage. You are well aware that you have some stressful and frustrating times ahead. However, you also know that you purchased property insurance coverage to protect yourself.
Yet, when you go to file your claim you find that your property insurance coverage is completely insufficient for your needs. You do not actually have the coverage that you thought you had. This leaves you with a large gap, exposed to cover the cost of a significant portion of the repairs. What went wrong? In this case, it is possible that the insurance agent told you that you would be fully covered in this type of situation.
Unfortunately, this scenario happens far more than it should. Through negligence and intentional misrepresentation, many insurance agents fail to properly inform homeowners. At The Bennett Law Firm, our dedicated Oklahoma bad faith insurance lawyers help victims of insurance agent negligence and insurance agent misrepresentation. If your insurance agent misled you or failed to properly inform you, and you suffered financial damage as a result, we can help you hold them legally liable.
What is Agent Negligence?
Insurance agent negligence occurs when a company representative fails to perform their job with adequate care and professional skill. Under Oklahoma state regulations, insurance agents have a basic responsibility to look out for the best interests of their clients (the policyholders). If an insurance agent fails to live up to their basic professional responsibilities, and a property owner suffers financial loss as a result, the agent, and their company can be held liable. Common examples of agent negligence include:
- Failing to obtain the requested insurance coverage;
- Making false statements, misrepresentations or material omissions; and
- Failing to offer effective advice to a client.
What is Intentional Misrepresentation?
Similar, intentional misrepresentations occur when a policyholder is damaged by the poor conduct of an insurance agent. However, intentional misrepresentation also allows the policyholder to bring a distinct type of legal claim. In these cases, the misconduct was done either on purpose or with reckless disregard for the interests of the policyholder.
For example, if an insurance company representative makes false statements in order induce you into purchasing a specific type of coverage, perhaps to get themselves a higher commission payment, you may have a valid intentional misrepresentation claim. While these types of claims are notoriously complex, there is no doubt that intentional misrepresentations are indicative of bad faith insurance practices.
Negligence and Misrepresentation Claims: Available Compensation
If you were the victim of either insurance agent negligence or intentional misrepresentation in Oklahoma, you are entitled to full compensation for your financial damages. This means that you are entitled to be put back into the very same position that you would have been in had the misconduct never occurred in the first place. In practice, this means that you may be entitled to financial relief for any of the following:
- The cost to repair your property to the extent it would have been covered if you actually had the insurance coverage that you were told you had or you that you should have reasonably had;
- Compensation for any consequential damages, meaning all costs that you incurred because of the negligence;
- Attorney’s fees and other court costs; and
- In the worst cases, punitive damages.
The bottom line: If you were a victim of agent negligence or intentional misrepresentation, you speak to a top-rated Oklahoma bad faith insurance lawyer immediately. Your lawyer will be able to take action to protect your legal rights and financial interests. You were the victim, and you should not be made to pay for the bad actions of the insurance company or any of its representatives.
Contact Our Oklahoma Insurance Agent Negligent Attorneys Today
At The Bennett Law Firm, our Oklahoma bad faith insurance lawyers have extensive experience handling agent negligence claims as well as intentional misrepresentation claims. If you believe that you were a victim of insurance company negligence or misconduct, our legal team is standing by, ready to assist you.
To set up a free, fully confidential review of your bad faith insurance case, please call The Bennett Law Firm today at 405-272-0303. We are located in the heart of Oklahoma City, and we represent clients throughout the region, including in Edmond, Moore, Norman and Chickasha.