It’s normal to think that insurance companies will provide the financial support you need after suffering serious injuries. However, insurance providers are big businesses that prioritize their profits, which means they often look for ways to reduce their liabilities. In some cases, insurance companies even try to renege on insurance contracts and avoid paying out legitimate claims – otherwise known as insurance bad faith. 

If you believe that your insurance provider has failed to adhere to the terms of your contract by refusing to pay out a valid claim, you may have grounds for a bad faith lawsuit against them. At the Cottle Firm, our team of Las Vegas bad faith insurance lawyers helps people in this situation recover the financial compensation they need and deserve for their injuries. Contact us today to learn more about your legal rights and how to file a bad-faith insurance claim.

What Is Bad Faith Insurance?

Bad faith insurance is a term that refers to an insurance provider’s attempt to renege on their contractual obligations to a client, either by refusing to pay the legitimate claim of a policyholder or to investigate and process a claim within a reasonable timeframe. 

An insurance provider is guilty of bad faith if they engage in any of the following behaviors:

  • Misrepresenting the terms of a contract to avoid paying out a claim
  • Failing to disclose the limitations and exclusions of a policy to the policyholder before the policy is purchased
  • Making unreasonable requests to the policyholder to prove covered losses
  • Denying payouts without valid explanations
  • Undervaluing losses and offering an unfairly low payment
  • Failing to represent the best interests of policyholders

Bad faith can happen with any type of insurance policy, including car insurance, health insurance, homeowners or renters’ insurance, life insurance, or any other type of insurance contract. However, not all disagreements between insurance providers and policyholders constitute bad faith, and simple errors made by insurers are not considered bad faith.

Implied Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing

The implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing is a legal concept that applies to insurance contracts and all other aspects of contract law. It is the presumption that both sides in a contract are expected to act honestly, fairly, and in good faith, to avoid denying either side of the right to receive the benefits listed in the contract. 

In the modern United States, most jurisdictions consider a breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing as a variant of breach of contract. In insurance law, a breach of the implied covenant may result in a tort action called an insurance bad faith claim, under which the policyholder may be entitled to both compensatory and punitive damages, depending on the circumstances of the case.

Nevada Bad Faith Insurance Laws

Each state has its bad-faith insurance laws, which are designed to protect policyholders. Nevada’s bad faith insurance laws are found in the 2010 Nevada Code’s section NRS 686A.310 – Unfair practices in settling claims; liability of the insurer for damages. 

According to this statute, insurers who participate in any of the following activities are deemed to have engaged in unfair practices, or bad faith:

  • Misrepresentation to insured parties or claimants of pertinent facts or insurance policy provisions related to any coverage issue
  • Failure to acknowledge and act reasonably soon on communications related to claims made under insurance policies
  • Failure to adopt and carry out reasonable standards for the timely investigation and processing of insurance policy claims
  • Failure to affirm or deny coverage of claims within a reasonable time after a policyholder has fulfilled proof of loss requirements
  • Failing to conduct timely fair, and equitable claims settlements when the liability of the insurer is reasonably clear
  • Forcing policyholders to use litigations to recover financial compensation included in their insurance policies by offering significantly less than the amounts ultimately recovered by policyholders when policyholders have made claims for amounts reasonably similar to the amounts ultimately recovered
  • Offering a claim settlement for an amount less than what a reasonable person would believe they were entitled to based on written or printed advertising materials
  • Altering an application without the knowledge or consent of the policyholder 
  • Failure to inform policyholders or beneficiaries of the coverage under which claims payments are made
  • Attempting to compel a policyholder to accept an unfair settlement by suggesting that the insurer will seek arbitration

What Damages Are Available in Nevada Bad Faith Insurance Claims?

If your insurance provider has engaged in bad faith practices, you likely have grounds for a lawsuit against them in Nevada. You may file a bad faith insurance claim against them in civil court. If successful, you could recover the following damages:

  • A reasonable amount for the claim that the insurance company unfairly failed to pay out
  • The difference between the amount you received and the fair value of the claim
  • Any out-of-pocket expenses and other contractual damages you suffered as a result of your insurance provider’s bad faith, including attorney’s fees
  • Damages for emotional distress
  • Lost income

Punitive Damages For Bad Faith Insurance Claims in Nevada

According to the State Bar of Nevada, Nevada law also allows victims of bad faith insurance to seek punitive damages, which are designed to punish the insurance provider and act as a deterrent against future bad faith practices by your insurer and other insurance providers. 

Punitive damages are available in cases where insurers engaged in either fraud, malice, or oppression. If the insurer showed a conscious disregard for the interests of their policyholder by failing to pay or investigate a claim or by failing to defend the policyholder, they could potentially be held liable for punitive damages.

In many cases, the amount of punitive damages exceed the actual damages recovered in a bad-faith insurance claim. In most other types of Nevada lawsuits, punitive damages are capped at three times the amount of actual damages. However, bad faith insurance claims have no cap on punitive damages.

What Must Be Proven in a Nevada Bad Faith Insurance Claim?

To successfully recover damages in a Nevada bad faith insurance claim, you and your attorney will need to prove the following four criteria:

  • The policyholder and the insurance provider entered into a contractual agreement
  • The insurance provider owed a duty of good faith to the policyholder
  • This duty of good faith was breached by the insurance provider
  • The policyholder suffered damages as a result of this breach

Learn More From Our Las Vegas Bad Faith Insurance Lawyers

If you believe that your insurance provider has engaged in bad faith by either denying a legitimate insurance claim or offering an unfair payment amount, the team of dedicated Las Vegas bad-faith insurance lawyers at the Cottle Firm is here to help. Our attorneys help our clients take on powerful insurance companies and recover the damages they rightfully deserve. Contact us today to learn more about your legal options as a victim of bad faith insurance in Nevada.


What Is the Difference Between a First-Party and Third-Party Bad Faith Claim?

Bad faith insurance claims fall into one of two categories: first-party or third-party.

First-party bad faith insurance happens when an insurance provider engages in bad faith against one of their policyholders. For example, if you were injured in a motor vehicle accident and your insurance carrier either unfairly denied your claim or offered you unreasonably low benefits based on the terms of your contract, the provider may be considered guilty of bad faith.

Third-party bad faith insurance occurs when someone is injured by the negligence of another party and files an insurance claim with that negligent party’s insurance provider. For example, if you were in an auto accident with a drunk driver and that driver’s insurance carrier refused to cover the damages you were rightfully entitled to, that carrier could be deemed guilty of third-party bad faith insurance.

Do I Need a Lawyer to File a Bad Faith Insurance Claim?

Although you can file a bad-faith insurance claim on your own, it is generally best to consider hiring an experienced lawyer for legal guidance throughout the process. Remember that insurance providers are powerful companies who have teams of attorneys that specialize in challenging claims and fighting allegations of bad faith.

At the Cottle Firm, our Las Vegas bad-faith insurance lawyers understand the claims process and the litigation process when insurance companies engage in bad-faith practices. We can help you prepare a strong case and deal with the insurance company on your behalf, fighting for the fair financial compensation you deserve.

How Do I Make a Bad Faith Insurance Claim?

If you believe that your insurance provider has engaged in bad faith practices, follow these steps to file a claim:

  1. Review your contract, or have a bad-faith insurance lawyer review it for you
  2. Gather evidence of your loss, estimates for the costs of repairs or property replacement, medical bills, insurance company correspondence, and all other relevant documentation
  3. Appeal the denied claim
  4. Consider hiring an experienced bath faith insurance lawyer to help guide you through the process


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