Retaining an attorney with experience litigating contract disputes is essential when an individual or business is embroiled in a contract dispute. However, Florida’s civil remedy statute, which governs first party insurance bad faith litigation, increases the urgency of retaining an experienced insurance claims attorney. Under Florida law, disputes between a policyholder and an insurer over coverage or adequate payment of a claim is not handled like other forms of civil litigation. The Civil Remedy Statute prohibits certain insurance company conduct. This law sets the parameters for litigation against insurance companies based on insurance bad faith claims.
There are a range of legal claims that can be brought against an insurer in Florida under the Civil Remedy Statute which include:
- Showing preference to policy applications submitted by particular insurers, agents or brokers
- Engaging in unfair competition practices and/or deceptive or misleading acts
- Refusal to refund unearned premiums within the statutory deadline after a policy is cancelled
- Denying coverage based on an applicant’s disability
Florida insurance companies frequently engage in certain types of practices that might constitute bad faith practices, such as:
- Denying a claim under one section of a policy to extort a lower settlement under another provision
- Refusing to settle a claim that in good faith should have been settled
- Attempting to settle a claim for less that the full value of a claim without sufficient investigation or explanation
- Threatening to bring criminal charges of insurance fraud or arson to discourage legitimate claims
- Causing unjustified delays and oppressive use of requests for information or documents to drag out the claims process and impose pressure on an insured
- Scouring a policy to find a “colorable” claim to deny coverage rather than reviewing the policy with an eye toward language providing coverage
- Failing to return phone calls or respond to written correspondence from an insured regarding the status of a claim
Because insurance litigation is subject to special procedures and legal standards, you should seek representation from an insurance coverage attorney who routinely handles such disputes. If you have questions about Florida insurance claims, you are welcome to contact my Miami insurance claims dispute law firm. My law firm represents policyholders in claims disputes in Miami and throughout Florida. 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.