Determining When Insurance Company Tactics Rise to the Level of Bad Faith

J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo
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Founder of J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo, P.A.

Insurance is a somewhat unique product because the purchase of insurance constitutes one of the few transactions where the parties will have adversarial interests after they enter into the service provider-customer relationship.  The insured pays premiums for financial security against covered perils.  While the insurance company accepts premium payments while providing no other product or service beyond the payment of claims if disaster strikes, the insurance carrier has a financial incentive to deny legitimate claims or minimize any settlement.  Predictably, policyholders often find that routine claims are anything but routine. 

Although there are many frustrating practices that an insurance company can engage in, it is not the case that every annoying act amounts to insurance bad faith.  Florida Statute Section 624.144 provides the civil remedy for compensating first party policyholders who are victimized by insurance company bad faith practices in Florida.  

There are many forms of conduct that can provide a justifiable basis for pursuing bad faith remedies under Section 624.144 that include:

  • A material misrepresentation by the insurance company with the objective of settling the claim on less favorable terms than those contemplated by the policy
  • Endeavoring to settle the claim based on a relevant document that has been modified without the approval or knowledge of the insured
  • Failing to conduct an investigation of a claim based on reasonably available information
  • Failure to provide an explanation based on policy language, applicable law, and facts that justify a claim denial or a compromised offer to settle a claim
  • Requesting information that is not relevant or failing to provide a reason that the information is needed
  • Lack of prompt response and communication with an insured in resolving a claim or answering questions
  • Not providing prompt notice to an insured regarding additional documents or information required to process a claim

You can reach Miami Insurance Claims Lawyer J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo by dialing his direct number at (786) 272-5841, calling the main office at (305) 461-1095, or Toll Free at 1 (866) 71-CLAIM or email Attorney Gonzalez-Sirgo directly at [email protected].

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