Bad Faith Insurance Claims In Florida
When you obtain an insurance policy to safeguard your property and pay an expensive monthly premium, you expect the insurer to honor your claim when a problem does arise. After all, the law requires that insurance companies act in good faith and deal fairly with you regarding your policy.
What is a Bad Faith Insurance Claim?
Florida’s “bad faith” insurance law allows an insured person to collect damages from an insurer for failing to settle a claim in good faith when the insurer should and could have done so. A bad faith claim is different from a denied claim. If your insurance claim is denied in a timely manner for a legitimate reason outlined in your policy, then a bad faith claim may not exist. Even some actions that seem like bad faith ultimately turn out to be permitted behavior from an insurer. A bad faith claim can arise, however, when an insurance company unreasonably denies your claim or withholds benefits for no good reason.
Examples of bad faith conduct may include:
- Denying a claim without a valid reason
- Delaying payment unnecessarily on a claim
- Misrepresenting policy language or the law itself
- Failing to conduct a full and complete investigation of the claim
- Failing to promptly provide a reasonable written explanation of a denial
- Offering less than the claim is worth, without justification
- Refusing to pay whatsoever on a valid claim
- Making threatening or misleading statements to the claimant
- Making payments without providing a statement showing the coverage under which payments are made
- Refusing to settle under one portion of coverage in order to influence settlements under other portions of coverage
Bad Faith Claims Under Florida Law
Florida law allows insureds to file civil actions against insurers for bad faith under certain circumstances. However, this law does not make it easy for a property owner to take on a bad faith claim on their own. To begin with, The law requires that you notify the Department of Financial Services and your insurance carrier in writing of the applicable statutory violation, and give the insurer 60 days to cure the alleged violations. This is done through the filing of a Civil Remedy Notice (CRN). In this notice, you must specifically state the facts and circumstances surrounding the violation, cite to the specific statutory language that shows the violation, and cite to any specific language in the policy that may be relevant to the violation.
Your best course of action will be to consult with a legal expert to determine how you can resolve your claim or settlement dispute, including whether elements of a bad faith claim may exist. The earlier you start this process, the better, particularly if you feel you’ve been treated unfairly to begin with.
Contact Our Daytona Beach Bad Faith Claims Attorneys
When an insurer won’t deal fairly and in good faith regarding your policy, they can be held liable for the damage caused. At Bundza & Rodriguez, P.A., we hold insurers in Daytona Beach, Volusia County, Flagler County, Brevard County and all of Florida accountable for their bad faith practices and work to ensure our clients are compensated for the harm done to them. If you have been denied benefits on your claim, if there was an unreasonable delay in processing your claim, reach out to Bundza & Rodriguez. Call or contact our Daytona Beach property damage attorneys online today and request a consultation to protect your rights in filing a claim.