St. Petersburg Insurance Bad Faith Lawyer
Most consumers don’t know that when it comes to their insurance company, or a third-party insurance company against which they are filing a claim, certain rights and protections exist to protect the consumer/claimant from bad faith practices. Indeed, while an insurance company may be in the driver’s seat, so to speak, when it comes to settling a claim, often having more power, resources, and legal assistance than the claimant, the insurance company has a duty to act in good faith. If the insurer fails to act in good faith, you may have a cause of action against it. Here’s what you should know about bad faith insurance claims in Florida, and how our St. Petersburg insurance bad faith lawyers can help.
What Are the Elements of a Bad Faith Insurance Claim?
An insurance bad faith claim may exist when:
- First-party bad faith claim: Your insurance company fails to investigate your came properly or refuses to pay a claim (unreasonably);
- Third-party insurance claim: The insurance company fails to settle, defend against, or indemnify a claim within policy limits or properly investigate a claim that is made by a different party (other than the policyholder); or
- The insurance company fails to do one of the many things that it is required to do, including recognizing your claim, investigating your claim, responding quickly to any communications, ensuring there is not an unreasonable delay of the process, and taking reasonable action to settle the claim or offer reasonable reasons for claim denial.
Your Rights When an Insurer Acts in Bad Faith
As found in Florida Statute Section 624.155(1), a person may bring a civil action against an insurer when an insurer does not attempt, in good faith, to settle a claim that it could have and should have done had it acted “fairly and honestly towards its insured and with due regard” for the insured’s interests. In addition to the above elements of a bad faith insurance claim, Florida has outlined numerous unfair insurance trade practices, which also include things like misrepresentation, failing to promptly notify the insured with a request for more information, denying a claim without conducting a reasonable investigation, failing to explain why a claim is being denied, and more.
What to Do If You Think that You Have a Bad Faith Claim
It’s important to remember that a case outcome that isn’t favorable to you–i.e. your claim being denied or being offered less than you think that you deserve–does not necessarily constitute insurance bad faith. As such, it’s best to have your case reviewed by a professional before you take any drastic action. If you do have a bad faith claim, our insurance bad faith lawyers can advise you regarding next steps. If your claim was processed in bad faith, we can help you to hold the insurance company responsible and improve your chances of recovering the settlement amount that you deserve.
To schedule a free consultation, please call our St. Petersburg insurance bad faith lawyers directly or send us a message at your convenience.