Delay for the purposes of delay is perhaps the most frustrating example of insurance bad faith. Generally when first-party claims are made, the insured has some significant problem, be it a damaged house, wrecked car, temporarily closed business, or other “loss.”
Wisconsin Statutes section 628.46 (timely payment of claims) provides that an insurer “shall promptly pay every insurance claim” once written notice of a covered loss and the amount of the loss have been provided to the insurer. “Promptly” means 30 days. While some claims are complicated and may require some additional time for analysis, insurance companies often do not demonstrate a sense of urgency that the 30-day deadline to pay is approaching. It is easier to ask forgiveness than permission, especially when the only statutory penalty is a relatively low interest rate, but the refusal to comply with clear law on the subject can be bad faith.