Why is my own insurance company treating me so badly on my underinsured and uninsured motorist claim under my own policy?
Because recent insurance friendly changes to Texas law have eliminated the ability of the personal injury lawyers who police the insurance industry to sue the insurance companies for bad faith until after the primary underinsured/ uninsured motorists claim is resolved.
The duty of good faith and fair dealing in the performance of the contract still applies to your insurance company when they are dealing with you while you are making a claim under you own insurance policy.
However, like most of the legal doctrines that regulate insurance companies in Texas this area of the law has been eroded by the insurance friendly courts over the last 15 years.
If you are injured by the negligence of an uninsured or underinsured motorist and you have uninsured or underinsured coverage then you have a right to make a claim for those benefits.
In the past if your insurance company drug their feet, ignored you, took ridiculous positions, or engaged in other dilatory conduct as they are prone to do then you could sue them immediately for "bad faith."
This immediate consequence made insurance companies behave. Now you must first file a lawsuit for UM/UIM benefits, go to trial, and prove that you are entitled to the benefits before you can sue your insurance company for their bad faith conduct during your UM/UIM claim.
The insurance companies aren't stupid. They know that many lawyers rarely or have never tried a personal injury or insurance case and thus the chance of one of these lawyers holding them accountable at trial for bad faith is very remote.
If you're having trouble with an insurance company and are considering hiring a lawyer to help you then you may want to ask the lawyer how many personal injury or insurance cases he has tried to verdict. The insurance companies will know whether your lawyer goes to trial and you should too.