1. The insurer must treat the insured's interests with equal consideration as it does its own interests.

  2. It is part of the claims handler's job duties to help the insured with the claim.

  3. An insurer must promptly and thoroughly investigate every claim.

  4. An insurer must be fair in its investigation of a claim.

  5. An insurer cannot be wrecklessly indifferent to facts or proof submitted by an insured.

  6. If payment is warranted, an insurer must promptly pay the claim.

  7. Denial of a claim should not be based on speculation.

  8. If a claim is denied, an insurer must promptly give an explanation of the facts or law upon which it relies.

  9. An insurance company has a duty to understand the applicable case law before denying a claim.

  10. An insurer has a duty to disclose all significant facts to the insured.

  11. Insurance companies must keep detailed documentation in each insurance claims file in order to permit reconstruction of the insurer's activities.

  12. Unless permitted by law or an insurance policy, it is an unfair claims practice to refuse to settle a claim on the basis that the responsibility should be assumed by others.

  13. An insurance company has the duty to settle claims without litigation in appropriate circumstances.

  14. An insurance company cannot refuse to pay one portion of the claim that is clearly owed in order to influence the settlement of another portion of the claim that is not so clear.

  15. It is improper for an insurer to tie claims personnel compensation to claim decisions or payments to insureds.

Telephone: (605) 342-0097 Fax: (605) 342-5170 email-