DC Insurance Lawyer

A DC insurance lawyer can work with an insured, who may have a disagreement with his/her insurance carrier. Typical issues that arise between an insurer and its insured are a refusal to properly compensate the insured pursuant to the terms of the insurance contract or dropping coverage without apparent due cause or proper notice. This page covers some of the basic rights that insurance holders have, as well as what the insurance company is not allowed to do to you. Do not hesitate to contact our DC personal injury lawyers if you have any further questions.

Basic Policyholder Rights in DC

There are some basic rights for all policyholders – regardless of what sort of coverage has been purchased – and these rights include: 

  • The right to fully understand all terms and conditions of your policy, and to seek clarification of all terms and conditions before acceptance of your policy.  
  • The right to cancel within 30 days from the date you receive the policy if, upon receipt and review, you disagree with any of the terms or conditions in the policy and are not given a satisfactory explanation. You are also entitled to a full refund for all premiums paid to the insurer. 

Policyholder Claims

As an insured policyholder who is filing a claim, you have the right to: 

  • Expect responsive and transparent service from your insurer, and to expect timely payment of your claim within the terms and conditions of your policy. 
  • If you have a complaint with your carrier, you have the right to have your complaint taken seriously, and not to be singled out for arbitrary reasons that affect your claim or status as a policyholder. If you are unhappy with the way your claim is being handled, speak to your insurer and follow its complaint-handling procedures fully. Your insurer has a legal duty to address all policyholders’ reasonable complaints satisfactorily. 

There may be additional rights that are outlined in the terms and conditions of the policy, such as access to an ombudsman in the event that any complaints are not addressed satisfactorily. If you feel that your rights as a policyholder are being violated, document all events, and if you’re unable to secure satisfactory redress, refer the matter to an attorney. 

Policyholder obligations are generally very simple: pay your premiums on time, and notify the insurer immediately of any claims, and notify your insurer of any changes that may affect your coverage. People should always notify their insurance carriers of any potential claims, even if they are unsure if the claim is covered by their policy. If an insured is told that he/she is not covered for the claim, the insured should require his/her insurer to put its decision in writing and to provide an explanation for its determination.     

Insurance Company’s Obligations

Insurance carriers are bound by good faith principles when handling a claim. This includes: 

  • Thorough investigation of each claim; 
  • Prompt and Formal Response to each claim (usually within 30 days); 
  • Payment or denial of claims within a “reasonable amount of time” (which will likely be outlined in the policy’s terms and conditions); 
  • If the carrier denies the claim, it must provide the insured with a written explanation for its denial, according to the terms and conditions. 

A carrier may not, at any time, arbitrarily cancel your policy [D.C. Municipal Code §26-A300]. If they have done so, contact a DC insurance attorney immediately for representation.

Contact a DC Insurance Lawyer Today

If an insurance company acts in bad faith or commits unfair practices during the settlement phase of a claim, the policyholder should notify the DC Insurance Commission’s Office [D.C.M.C. §26-A308]. This must be done before the policyholder brings a lawsuit against his/her insurance carrier. Our legal team can schedule a time for you to speak with a DC insurance lawyer so they can answer any questions or concerns that you may have involving your insurance claim.