The reason we purchase insurance is crystal clear: should an accident occur, we want to be compensated for our losses and damages. And insurance companies assume the duty to compensate for those losses and damages as long as they are covered in the insurance policy.
“Sounds quite straightforward, doesn’t it?” you think. Your insurance company paying out covered damages and losses is considered to be acting in good faith. Unwarranted refusal to cover your damages, unreasonably limiting or denying your claim, on the other hand, may be considered to be acting in bad faith on the part of the insurer.
Let’s not forget that every insurance company is a business, and by denying or minimizing the value of your claims, insurers make money. “Insurance companies acting in bad faith is something that is not uncommon here in Florida,” says our Cooper City personal injury attorney at Law Offices of Bradley S. Hartman, P.A.
Insurance companies acting in bad faith is not as rare as you think
Okay, but is there any legal way to get your insurer to pay out losses and damages in your personal injury claim? There might be. That’s why bad faith insurance claims are an integral element of Florida’s insurance law. By filing a bad faith insurance claim, you – as the insured or third-party claimant – can protect yourself from illegal, dishonest, and fraudulent actions on the part of your insurer.
But in which situations are you entitled to file a bad faith insurance claim in Florida? Generally, you can file a bad faith insurance claim when the actions of your insurer constitute acting in bad faith.
What constitutes acting in bad faith on the part of an insurance company
Our experienced personal injury attorney in Cooper City explains what constitutes acting in bad faith on the part of a Florida insurance company:
- Attempting to alter a personal injury claim without the knowledge of the claimant.
- Misrepresenting, falsifying, fabricating, or omitting facts and evidence in your personal injury claim with the purpose of limiting or denying the claim.
- Settling the claim for or paying out significantly less than promised in the terms of your insurance agreement.
- Failure to investigate a personal injury claim in a timely manner or denying a claim without conducting a proper investigation.
- Failure to respond to the claimant in a timely manner after a request has been made.
- Failure to notify the claimant of any changes in the status of his or her personal injury claim or when additional information is required to proceed with the investigation.
- Failure to offer a reasonable explanation as to why more information is required to proceed with the investigation, and why the claim has been denied or limited.
Filing a bad faith insurance claim in Florida: How to win?
All of the above-mentioned is considered acting in bad faith and may give you grounds to file a bad faith insurance claim. More often than not, legal help from a Cooper City personal injury attorney is required to win a bad faith insurance claim.
After all, as you may have guessed, insurance companies hire the best defense lawyers in Florida, which is why the risk of losing your claim is unreasonably high. More often than not, insurers in Florida defend themselves from bad faith insurance claims by arguing that the claimant was negligent in handling his or her claim. Also, insurance companies are no strangers to establishing fine-print terms in the agreement that seemingly prove that they acted in “good faith.”
Let our skilled lawyers at Law Offices of Bradley S. Hartman, P.A., look into your particular situation and determine the best legal strategy to win a bad faith insurance claim. Call our offices at 954-438-1000 for a free case evaluation.