Bad Faith Insurance Attorneys
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 interests to minimize the amount of money they pay out in claims, they may not act unfairly and in bad faith to deny paying legitimate claims.
What is Bad Faith Insurance
“Bad faith” is conduct by an insurance company that is unfair or unreasonable and violates Florida law. Bad faith insurance is any action by the insurance company that wrongfully denies a legitimate claim.
Bad Faith Examples
- 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; and
- Unreasonably trying to “lowball” or under-settle a claim.
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 have violated the terms or conditions of your insurance policy;
- The claim is fraudulent; or
- The loss on which your claim is based is not covered by your insurance policy.
Bad Faith Insurance Claims
If you purchase an insurance policy, you are entitled to all of 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’s, 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, you may have a claim against the insurance company for “bad faith” insurance.
Bad Faith Compensation
If you sue your insurance company and the court determines that the company denied your claim wrongfully, you may be able to recover some or all of the following amounts:
- The benefits of the policy for the claim;
- Consequential losses;
- Damages suffered for emotional distress;
- Lost income; and
- Attorney fees.
In extreme cases, where the insurance company has engaged in some especially severe misconduct, the court may require the insurance company to pay punitive damages.
Contact our Lawyers Today
If you are having trouble obtaining payment from your insurance company for a legitimate claim, contact us 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.