In my last blog I wrote about the benefits of Uninsured Motorist Coverage, and I stand by that. However, I did forget to mention that the party you are paying for the insurance, The Uninsured Motorist Carrier (Insurance Company) will fight you every step of the way in your effort to collect what is fair and just.
In a recent story, Matt Fisher detailed his families experience in dealing with Progressive Insurance Company. Matt highlights the adverse relationship between the insured and the insurance company. Yes, the insurance company we pay premiums to will defend the person who caused us harm, and the insurance company will pay their lawyer with our premium dollars. Thus, the importance of an area of law known as bad faith. When an insurance company unreasonably refuses to settle a case when it could and should have done so, that insurance company may be liable for acting in bad faith(Governor Scott has been trying to eliminate bad Faith).
For example, If an insured has a policy of Uninsured Motorist coverage with limits of $10,000.00, and the insured suffers a severe injury(Broken leg) and liability is clear(rear end collision) it is obvious the case has a value well in excess of $10,000.00. The uninsured motorist carrier must pay those $10,000.00 limits to their insured. If after demanding payment of the $10,000.00 the insurance company fails to pay the $10,000.00 the next step is to file a civil remedy notice with the Department of Insurance. This filing puts the department of insurance on notice of the claim, and allows the insurance company 60 days to cure the defect(pay the money). In the event the insurance company refuses to pay, then the insured can proceed with a lawsuit and seek a verdict in excess of policy limits($10,000.00 in example). The trial will be adversarial as described by Matt Fischer
However, If the insured(Plaintiff) prevails at trial and the jury awards $50,000.00, the insured will be able to proceed with a claim for Bad Faith and an award in excess of policy limits(remember in example only $10,000.00 policy limits)
Bad Faith law is critical. If Governor Scott were to have his way, and abolish bad faith law, there would not be anything to keep insurance companies from failing to act in Good Faith, and denying all legitimate claims.