Unfair business practices cover a broad range of conduct by sellers of products and insurance companies. West Virginia has a whole class of statutory and common law remedies to deal with unfair and deceptive business practices.
Unfair practices may include, but are not limited to:
- Causing likelihood of confusion or of misunderstanding as to the source, sponsorship, approval or certification of goods or services
- Using deceptive representations or designations of geographic origin in connection with goods or services
- Representing that goods or services have sponsorship, approval, characteristics, ingredients, uses, benefits or quantities that they do not have or that a person has a sponsorship, approval, status, affiliation or connection that the goods or services do not have
- Representing that goods are original or new if they are deteriorated, altered, reconditioned, reclaimed, used or secondhand
- Representing that goods or services are of a particular standard, quality or grade, or that goods are of a particular style or model if they are of another
- Disparaging the goods, services or business of another by false or misleading representation of fact
- Advertising goods or services with intent not to sell them as advertised
- Advertising goods or services with intent not to supply reasonably expectable public demand, unless the advertisement discloses a limitation of quantity
- Making false or misleading statements of fact concerning the reasons for, existence of or amounts of price reductions
- Engaging in any other conduct which similarly creates a likelihood of confusion or of misunderstanding
- Misrepresenting the benefits, advantages, conditions or terms of any insurance policy
- Misrepresenting pertinent facts or insurance policy provisions relating to coverages at issue
- Failing to acknowledge and act reasonably promptly upon communications with respect to claims arising under insurance policies
- Failing to adopt and implement reasonable standards for the prompt investigation of claims arising under insurance policies
- Refusing to pay claims without conducting a reasonable investigation based upon all available information
- Failing to affirm or deny coverage of claims within a reasonable time after proof of loss statements have been completed
- Not attempting in good faith to effectuate prompt, fair and equitable settlements of claims in which liability has become reasonably clear
- Compelling insureds to institute litigation to recover amounts due under an insurance policy by offering substantially less than the amounts ultimately recovered in actions brought by the insureds, when the insureds have made claims for amounts reasonably similar to the amounts ultimately recovered
- Attempting to settle a claim for less than the amount to which a reasonable person would have believed he was entitled by reference to written or printed advertising material accompanying or made part of an application
- Attempting to settle claims on the basis of an application which was altered without notice to, or knowledge or consent of, the insured
If you have been treated unfairly as a result of the conduct of a product seller or an insurance company, you should contact a lawyer to determine whether you have remedies available under the law. A lawyer can collect information and determine whether the company has violated West Virginia law.
Barney Law PLLC proudly represents consumers in claims against product sellers, manufacturers, mortgage companies and insurance companies. Call Barney Law PLLC now for a free initial consultation.