Attorneys Holding Insurance Companies Liable For Bad-Faith Practices
Under Florida law, insurance companies must deal with their customers (the insured parties) fairly and in good faith. An insurance policy is a contract between an insured person or company (“insured”) and an insurance company. The insurance contract requires that the insurance company act in good faith toward the insured. While it is in an insurance company’s interest to minimize the amount of money that it pays out in claims, it may not act unfairly and in bad faith to deny paying legitimate claims.
If you purchase an insurance policy, then you are entitled to all the benefits of the policy and to receive payment for all claims that the policy covers. This is true whether the policy is for health, automobile, homeowner, personal property, life, disability, liability or another type of insurance. If you suffer a loss covered by your policy and your insurance company fails to pay you on a claim for that loss, then you may have an insurance bad faith claim. Our attorneys at Kaire & Heffernan, PLLC, know how insurance companies operate, and we are ready to fight back on your behalf.
What Is Insurance Bad Faith?
“Bad faith” is conduct by an insurance company that is unfair or unreasonable and violates Florida law. It refers to a wide variety of actions by the insurance company that violate policy language or the spirit of the agreement, including:
- Failing to investigate a claim
- Refusing to reimburse you for the entirety of your loss as required by the insurance policy
- Refusing to settle the case
- Unreasonably delaying payments to you
- Unreasonably refusing to defend you when you have been sued under a liability insurance policy
- Unreasonably interpreting the language of your insurance policy
- Unreasonably trying to “lowball” or undersettle a claim
Insurers often act in bad faith because they assume that policyholders don’t understand their rights and won’t push back. We aim to prove them wrong on both counts.
Can Your Insurance Company Legally Deny A Claim?
Not every denial of a claim constitutes bad faith under the law. Insurance companies make money and stay in business by minimizing the amount of money they pay out in claims. Your insurance company has the legal right to deny your claim for several reasons, including the following:
- You violated the terms or conditions of your insurance policy
- The claim is fraudulent
- The loss on which your claim is based is not covered by your insurance policy
Adjusters will likely cite one of these reasons, but that may be a pretext for denying what should be a covered claim. We can help you determine if the company acted in bad faith.
Compensation Available In A Bad-Faith Claim
If you sue your insurance company and the court determines that the company denied your claim wrongfully, then you may be able to recover some or all of the following:
- The benefits of the policy for the claim
- Consequential losses
- Damages suffered for emotional distress
- Lost income
- Attorney fees
In extreme cases, when the insurance company has engaged in some especially severe misconduct, the court may require the insurance company to pay punitive damages.
Tell Us Your Story In A Free Consultation
If you are having trouble obtaining payment from your insurance company for a legitimate claim, contact us at Kaire & Heffernan, PLLC, for a free and confidential consultation about your case. We can explain the complicated language of your insurance policy and help you determine whether your insurance company is required to pay your claim. Reach out to us online or by calling 305-376-7860. Se habla español.