Bad-faith claims against an insurer open the door to many more issues, and a lot more discovery about those issues, than insurers would lead you to believe. Insurers routinely clam up about anything in any of their files — even ones related directly to an insured’s claim — the moment the insured drags the insurer into court. My colleague, Kyle Sturm, recently posted an article here about a pending decision by the Oregon Supreme Court regarding an insurer’s attempt to bury its claims file.
But the claims file, the insurer’s correspondence, reports, and notes about a particular claim, tells only part of the story. That is, these documents will show an insured how he was mistreated by the adjusters. Another rich source of information powering bad-faith claims lies in what the adjusters were supposed to do, what the insurer’s own procedures and training manuals dictate should be done in handling a claim.