Florida Insurance Claims Attorneys

Florida Insurance and Bad Faith Attorney

The insurance contract between an insurance company and the policyholder is a two-way contract. Policyholders are obligated to pay their premiums in exchange for the right to make financial claims for covered events. When your insurance company acts unreasonably in evaluating your claim for damages or denies your claim altogether, you may have a bad faith action against them. If you have been denied the benefits of your insurance policy and denial of your claim for damages under your insurance policy, you may be entitled to financial compensation for the damages. Let the experienced Florida insurance and bad faith attorneys at Kagan Law Firm help you enforce your rights as a policyholder.

  • Kagan Law Firm PLLC has experience helping our clients enforce the terms of their insurance policies and maximize their recoveries when their insurer is acting unreasonably
  • We will fight for you when the insurance company tries to take advantage of you and acts in bad faith

We understand how frustrating it can be when you suffer a covered damage and your insurance company is uncooperative. Unlike insurance companies, we do not put profits above your best interests. Our team will fight for you to get the full and fair compensation you deserve for any damages caused by the insurance company’s bad faith. Call us today at (954) 300-1068 to schedule a free consultation with one of our Florida insurance and bad faith attorneys.

Florida Insurance and Bad Faith Attorney

Standard for Determining Bad Faith

Under Florida’s Insurance Code 624.155 section 1(b), an insured person can make a claim for damages against an insurance company in the following circumstances:

  • The insurance company makes no good faith attempt to settle a claim when, under all circumstances, it could and should have done so, had it acted fairly and honestly toward the insured person, and with due regard for the insured’s interests
  • An insurance company makes a payment on a claim to an insured person without a statement setting out the coverage under which the payments are being made
  • An insurance company fails to promptly settle claims, when it has become reasonably clear that the insurance company has an obligation, under one portion of the insurance policy coverage, because they are trying to influence settlements under other portions of the insurance policy coverage

Before you can enforce your right to an insurance bad faith claim, you must establish that your case falls into one of the circumstances that entitle you to file an insurance bad faith claim. Your lawyer can help you determine your legal position and protect your interests.

Penalties For Bad Faith Insurance Practices In Florida

In Florida , there are several potential penalties for bad faith insurance practices.

Civil Damages
The most common consequence of bad faith insurance practices is a civil lawsuit filed by the claimant against the insurance company. If the insurer is found to have acted in bad faith, they may be liable to pay compensatory damages. These damages can include the amount owed under the insurance policy or settlement plus any additional losses or damages caused by the insurer’s actions.

If an insurance company fails to make settlement payments within 20 days of making an agreement, they are subject to a penalty of up to 12 percent.

Punitive Damages
In some cases, if the insurer’s actions are particularly egregious or intentional, a court may award punitive damages in addition to compensatory damages. Punitive damages are meant to punish the insurer for their misconduct and to deter similar behavior in the future.

Attorney’s Fees and Costs
The court may order the insurer to pay the claimant’s attorney’s fees and costs associated with the lawsuit.

Regulatory Penalties
Insurance companies in Florida are regulated by the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR). If an insurance company is found to have engaged in bad faith practices, the OIR has the authority to impose administrative penalties. These penalties can include monetary fines between $5,000 and $200,000, license suspensions, or even license revocations, depending on the severity of the violation.

Reputation Damage
Engaging in bad faith insurance practices can lead to significant reputation damage for an insurance company. Negative publicity and a tarnished reputation can result in loss of business, decreased customer trust, and potential long-term financial consequences for the insurer.

The specific punishments may vary depending on the severity of the violation and the circumstances involved.

Acts Florida Defines As Bad Faith

Florida law defines certain acts that can be considered bad faith practices by an insurance company. These acts are outlined in the Florida Statutes and have been established through court decisions. Here are some examples:

Failure to Investigate: Insurance companies have a duty to conduct a prompt and thorough investigation of an insurance claim.

Denial of Valid Claims: Unreasonably denying a valid insurance claim or delaying the payment of a claim without a legitimate reason. Insurance companies are expected to evaluate claims fairly and provide a timely response.

Failure to Communicate: Failing to communicate clearly and promptly with the claimant regarding their claim or withholding important information. Insurance companies have a duty to keep policyholders, and claimants informed about the status of their claims and any relevant information.

Offering Unreasonable Settlements: Insurance companies are expected to make reasonable settlement offers based on the facts and circumstances of the claim.

Misrepresentation or Fraud: Knowingly providing false information or engaging in fraudulent practices to avoid paying a claim. Insurance companies are required to act in good faith and deal honestly with policyholders.

Breach of Contract: Failing to fulfill the terms and obligations of an insurance policy, such as refusing to provide coverage that is clearly stated in the policy.

This is not an exhaustive list, and the determination of bad faith practices can depend on each case’s specific facts and circumstances.

How Much Time Do You Have to Bring a Bad Faith Claim?

When your insurance company has acted in bad faith, the law requires that you give them 60 days written notice of their violation of the terms of your policy agreement. Your insurance company is required to pay the damages or take corrective action concerning the circumstances in violation of your policy within those 60 days. If the insurance company fails to take either of those two actions within the 60-day period, that is when your bad faith claim arises. The notice must comply with the requirements of the law. Insurance companies are looking for any excuse to shortchange you, so working with a Florida insurance and bad faith lawyer is the best way to see that your insurance company does not take advantage of you. Your lawyer will make sure that your written notice complies with the law so that you do not lose your right to pursue an insurance bad faith claim against your insurance company.

Florida Insurance and Bad Faith Attorney

Contact a Florida Insurance and Bad Faith Attorney

If you believe your insurance company is acting in bad faith, then you need an attorney to work for your best interests. Trust the insurance and bad-faith lawyers at the Kagan Law Firm PLLC to fight for the justice you deserve. We offer free consultations. Call us at (954) 300-1068 or fill out our online form to schedule your free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.