Insurance Companies Must Act in Good Faith.
Insurance companies are required by Montana law to act in “good faith” when handling claims for their insureds and when handling claims against people who were injured or harmed by an accident. The insurance company must always investigate and handle claims quickly and fairly. Your insurance company must place your interests, as the insured, on equal footing with the interests of the company. Insurance companies who violate these duties of good faith and fair dealing are guilty of bad faith and unfair trade and settlement practices.
Unlike many other states, the duties of good faith and fair dealing also extend to injured third parties, who fall outside the insurer/insured relationship. Whether it’s your own insurance company, or the insurance company of the person(s) who injured you in an accident, the insurance company is always required to consider your interests, and where liability is reasonably clear, must place your interests at or above the interests of the company.
Moreover, an insurance company handling a claim in Montana must resolve claims quickly and fairly. The insurance company must promptly complete a full investigation of the claim and must investigate all of the available information, not just the information that will lower or eliminate the insurance company’s risk.
Under Montana law, an insurance company must settle claims when liability is reasonably clear. This means that if you are injured in an accident, and the accident was not your fault, the insurance company must settle your claim. Under Montana law insurance companies must also pay accident related medical expenses and wage loss without forcing you to sign a release.