Overview of a Few Key Florida Property Insurance Laws

If you have been battling with your insurance company to obtain fair compensation for damage to your home after a fire, severe storm or other covered peril, you may feel like the situation is so frustrating that you are ready to give up.  Fortunately, insurance companies are subject to an extensive matrix of laws and regulations that an experienced Miami insurance lawyer can effectively use to compel insurance companies to honor their contractual and statutory obligations.  Because policyholders with knowledge of Florida insurance laws have an advantage in insurance disputes, we have provided a summary of a few key provision.

Notification of Basis for Cancellation, Denial and Nonrenewal (Fla. Stat. 627.4091)

When an insurance company takes an adverse action like denying a claim, refusing to renew coverage or cancelling a policy, the insurance company must provide written notice of the justification for the adverse action.

Insurance Liability for Attorney Fees (Fla. Stat. 627.428)

Florida insurance laws provide a powerful tool for policyholders in terms of potential attorney fee liability of insurers.  If a homeowner sues the insurance carrier for failing to pay the full value of a claim, the insured is entitled to an attorney fee award if the policyholder prevails at trial.  When an attorney represents an insured under a contingency fee retainer agreement, the attorney fee award may be multiplied by a contingency risk multiplier.  This means that the insurance carrier must consider potential liability for substantial attorney fees when negotiating a settlement of claims.

Notice of Modification of Terms of a Policy (Fla. Stat. 627.43141)

This Florida insurance law is designed to prevent carriers from sneaking important changes into a policy during renewal.  If the carrier makes significant changes in the policy when renewing the policy, the changes must be made obvious to the policyholder, so the insured is not forced to scour many policy pages to detect such changes.

Florida Bad Faith Civil Remedy (Fla. Stat. 627.43141)

This provision enumerates the types of insurance company conduct that constitute bad faith, such as:

  • Failure of insurance companies to settle claims they could have and should have under all the circumstance if the insurer had acted fairly and honestly toward the policyholder with due regard for the insured’s interest;
  • Declining to promptly settle claims when the obligation to settle the claim has become reasonably clear under one portion of the policy to impact settlements related to other provisions of the policy (does not apply to liability coverage);
  • Making payments that are not accompanied by a statement indicating the coverage under which the payment is made.

The statute also references a plethora of unfair practices by insurance companies under a number of statutory provisions as constituting bad faith practices.  The list of practices is so extensive that you should consult with an experienced Florida bad faith insurance attorney if you think your insurance company might be acting in bad faith.  This provision also provides procedures and requirements for pursuing an insurance bad faith claim.

If you have questions about Florida insurance law, an experienced Florida insurance attorney can answer your questions.  My Miami insurance law firm represents policyholders in claims disputes in Miami and throughout Florida, so we can guide you through the process.  The Law Firm of J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo, P.A. offers free consultations and case evaluations.  No Recovery, No Lawyer Fees.  Call 305-461-1095 or Toll Free 1-866-71-CLAIM.

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