WHAT TO DO WHEN AN INSURANCE COMPANY ACTS IN BAD FAITH?
Incidents of bad faith between an insurance provider and the insured can make an already stressful situation even worse. Both the insured and insurer are expected to act in good faith and fulfill their ends of the contract when a policy is made. Notwithstanding, in some situations, there may be instances where a party chooses to play tricks or not stand by the policy terms, which commonly results in acts of bad faith. This post will explore some examples affecting an insured person and the possible paths to remedy their situation.
Examples of Bad Faith
Bad faith often involves some form of deception and/or withholding of rightfully owed compensation. For example, a hypothetical situation is where an insurance policy agent informs the insured that their new policy covers all forms of fire damage; however, after a bad cooking incident that leaves the kitchen destroyed, the insurance agent then informs the insured that he/she will not be receiving any compensation to repair their kitchen, usually without any valid or logic reasoning. Then, to top it off, the insurance company does not even send out an adjuster to investigate the incident.
The above example, although very simple, provides examples of bad faith in which the insurance company not only provides no valid reason for denying a claim, but also fails to send out an adjuster to investigate the incident.
It is important to note that most cases contain different facts and circumstances. Therefore, it is crucial to provide all details for our licensed attorneys to evaluate your own situation so they can ensure your legal rights are protected. Remember, insurance companies have an interest to protect, we will protect yours.
Truthfully, there are a huge number of actions that are bad faith. Some of the most common examples are misrepresentation of terms of coverage, unnecessary delays in settling a claim, wrongfully adjusting the claim, and the insurance company knowingly offering less than the correct coverage amount.
If you have not experienced the insurance claims process before, it could be hard to identify an insurance company’s act of bad faith. Therefore, it is extremely beneficial to consult an attorney who has been exposed to tricks played by insurance companies, but most importantly to hold insurance companies accountable for their wrongful actions. Request a free evaluation and let our attorneys at Arias & Abbass help you.
Civil Remedy Notice
After experiencing bad faith from an insurance company, you may feel frustrated and discontent at the company that let you down after such a significant life event. At that time, the homeowner can file a civil remedy notice with the Florida Department of Financial Services, stating the specific facts and statutes that give rise to bad faith. This process can be complicated as certain requirements must be met before a successful notice can be filed; however, to your benefit, at Arias & Abbass our team of attorneys have extensive experience in handling these exact issues and we are ready to help you.
The following elements are required for a civil remedy notice to be filed:
- Notice must be made on a form provided by the Department of Insurance;
- Notice must provide specific facts alleged in the violation;
- Notice must contain the specific language in the policy that relates to the violation;
- Notice must provide statutory provision that the insurance company allegedly violated;
- Notice must include the names of persons involved in the case;
- Notice must contain a statement that it is given in order to perfect the right to pursue the civil remedy authorized by this section.
In order to ensure that this civil remedy is properly filled out and done in accordance with Florida Statute § 624.155, it is strongly advisable to have an experienced attorney assist you.
After the notice is filed with the appropriate parties, the insurance company will have 60 days to remedy the violation. If the insurance company corrects the violation and provides compensation or correction, the insured is prohibited from filing a bad faith claim.
If the insurer did not remedy the violation, and the facts and circumstances show that the insured still suffered from the actions of a bad faith actor at the end of the sixty (60) days, the insured may file a bad faith lawsuit. If a court finds that the insurer was acting in bad faith, the insurer will also be responsible for court fees, attorney’s fees, damages, and potentially punitive damages in order to prevent the same behavior from happening in the future.
Contact Arias & Abbass and Let Us Be Your Attorneys
At Arias & Abbass, your attorneys have a depth of experience to handle litigation involving insurance companies. Our attorneys understand and are skilled to identify when insurance companies are acting in bad faith. We will use our skills and experience in handling civil remedy notices and litigation against bad faith to hold them accountable.
If you feel you are the victim of a bad faith claim adjustment, please contact us today at (786) 530-4357 for a free consultation.