Florida policyholders buy insurance and pay premiums on time knowing that if disaster strikes, their insurance company will cover the losses covered in the policy. Paying out for any damages covered in good faith is how it’s supposed to work, but unfortunately insurance companies only care about their bottom line. This means insurers will do everything possible to deny or devalue claims. Generally this is done within the bounds of the law, but there are cases where insurers will fail to properly investigate claims, unreasonably devalue claims, or unreasonably deny claims. Such failures to process a claim appropriately is known as acting in bad faith.
Bad faith insurance claims allow the insured and third-party claimants to protect themselves from bad faith practices, but such a claim can easily become extremely complicated (especially since insurance companies have skilled legal teams). This is why you want the help of a skilled insurance claim attorney like Craig Rolle on your side.
Florida Bad Faith Insurance Claim Types
Depending on what kind of insurance and which parties are involved, the two types of bad faith insurance claims are first-party and third-party.
- First-party claim: When an insurer unreasonably denies a claim or declines to investigate a claim. If your homeowner’s insurance unreasonably denies your claim for storm damage that your policy covers, it’s a first-party claim.
- Third-party claim: If you hit another motorist and you are determined to be at fault and held liable for damages, your car insurance covers it. If your insurer is negligent and unreasonably denies paying out covered damages to the other motorist, this is an example of a third-party claim.
Florida Statutory Vs. Common-Law Claims
Insurers in Florida are required by both statutes and common law to fairly treat policyholders and third-party claimants. Judicial precedent determines common law, which is formed by prior cases in the court system. Statutes refer to laws enacted by lawmakers. First-party bad faith insurance claims in Florida cannot be made under common law. Third-party claims may fall under either common-law or statutory. Florida has very explicit bad faith insurance laws, so most third-party claims are also made under statutory laws.
Approaching A Florida Bad Faith Claim
Insurance companies have expert legal teams to protect them from bad faith insurance claims, which is why you need an experienced insurance claim professional on your side to file a bad faith lawsuit and find you the experts you need to navigate it. The easiest way insurers dismiss bad faith insurance claims is showing that the insured also handled the claim negligently. If you exaggerated damages or didn’t have follow-up information in a timely manner, they could argue you were also negligent. This is why it’s key to always follow protocol when filing a claim, and to thoroughly analyze your policy before submitting a claim or speaking to anybody. Moreover, make sure to communicate in writing whenever possible. If you’re forced to communicate over the phone or in person, try to have records of contact information, dates, and times. Essentially, you need to have thorough records and proof of every aspect of your claim.
Contact Us Today
If you are filing a bad faith home insurance claim, Craig Rolle can help you achieve the optimal results. Call Craig Rolle to learn more today.