“Opening Up” An Insurance Policy
Liability insurance policies that cover losses from vehicular or other accidents have a stated maximum payable amount or limit.
In most cases, the insurance company will pay no more than the policy limit, no matter how severe the loss, because that is all that is required under its contract with the insured.
In many cases, the loss caused by the insured greatly exceeds the maximum payable under the insurance policy. Further, the insured that caused the loss often has no assets or not nearly enough assets to pay for the damage done.
In some instances the insurance company can be made to pay more in damages than the maximum of that it agreed to pay in its contract with the insured. In such a situation the insurance policy has been “opened up”. This usually occurs because of insurance company incompetence and/or misconduct in handling the claim.
A policy is often opened up as a result of a combination of the insurance company’s misstep and an experienced personal injury attorney’s understanding of the misstep and how to put the insurance company at substantial financial risk as a result.
Once the facts and circumstances are such that the insurance company adjuster concludes that the insurance company has exposure beyond the terms of the insurance contract, a settlement for the full value of the claim may be obtained, in certain instances for far more than the policy limit.
Contact our office to understand your options.