What does the term "insurance bad faith” refer to under Florida insurance law?
An insurance company enters into a contract with its insured when it underwrites an insurance policy with the policyholder. The insurance company has a legal duty to act reasonably and fairly when exercising its duties and responsibilities under the policy. If your insurance company wrongfully denies your claim, engages in tactics designed to delay payment or lowballs your claim, the insurance company may be acting in bad faith. A successful claim for insurance bad faith can include an award for extra-contractual damages like mental anguish and attorney fees.
What types of actions constitute bad faith practices?
There are hundreds of ways that an insurance company can engage in bad faith conduct, but some common examples include:
- Unreasonable attempts to get a policyholder to accept underpayment of a claim
- Refusing to conduct a thorough investigation of a claim in a timely fashion
- Unreasonable delay in paying a legitimate claim
- Offering a clearly undervalued amount on a claim
- Interpreting the contract in an unreasonable way to deny or underpay a claim
- Threatening punitive action for making a claim, such as threating to file an arson complaint in response to a fire damage claim
- Using tactics of intimidation to discourage policyholders from filing a claim
- Unreasonable denial of a claim or termination of a claim when benefits should have been paid
These are merely a handful of examples of bad faith practices commonly used by insurance companies to avoid fulfilling the company’s contractual obligations. Because insurance bad faith practices are common and take many forms, you should speak with an experienced insurance bad faith attorney if you think your insurance company is treating you unfairly.
You can reach Miami Bad Faith 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].