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Insurance bad faith is a legal term of art that describes a tort claim that an insured person may have against an insurance company for its bad acts. Under Oklahoma law, insurance companies owe a duty of good faith and fair dealing to the persons from whom they collect premiums. This duty is often referred to as the "implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing" which automatically exists by operation of law in every insurance contract. If an insurance company violates the covenant, the policyholder may sue the company on a tort claim in addition to a standard breach of contract claim. The contract-tort distinction is significant because as a matter of public policy, punitive or exemplary damages are not allowed on contract claims, but are on tort claims. The end result is that a policyholder in an insurance bad faith case can recover an amount larger than the face value of the policy if the insurer's conduct is particularly egregious. 

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