We like to believe that insurance companies exist to safeguard our best interests when things go wrong. We pay into our policies and premiums, hoping that they will be there when we need them. In the event of an accident, we expect them to follow through with the benefits we are entitled to. Sadly, some insurance companies try to avoid fulfilling their obligations to their clients. They may not properly investigate claims, or even avoid paying benefits owed on a policy. When an insurance provider tries to take advantage of their clients, we consider this “bad faith.” If your insurer is denying you the services they are bound to through the terms of your contract, call lowercase now to find out if you are eligible to file a bad faith insurance claim.
bad faith insurance claims in florida
what does faith have to do with insurance?
In the United States, insurance companies owe a duty of “good faith” to those they insure by law. This duty is often referred to as the "implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing." This covenant is inherent in every insurance contract and bound by both the common law of judicial precedent and statute set by lawmakers. Through good faith and fair deals, insurers are required to:
- Recognize a claim
- Investigate claims in a prompt manner
- Respond quickly to communications
- Not impede the progress of claims with unnecessary forms
- Offer legitimate reasons for denying claims or delays in the process
If an insurance company violates the terms of their contract, the policyholder may be eligible to file a lawsuit. Bad faith insurance can apply to different types of policies, including:
- Health insurance
- Life insurance
- Automobile insurance
- Homeowners insurance
A bad faith insurance lawsuit is actually separate from a personal injury lawsuit. In personal injury cases, an attorney will file claims directly against the at-fault party for damages. However, with a bad faith insurance case your lawyer will be taking on the insurance company, which requires a thorough knowledge of the litigation process. Accordingly, it is always best to obtain experienced legal representation in bad faith insurance lawsuits.
signs of bad faith insurance practices
The negligence can be willful or not, but when an insurance company only looks for evidence that allows them to deny the claim, while ignoring evidence that supports the policyholder’s claim, this is an act of bad faith. While the definition of bad faith is broad, there are a few common forms of bad faith insurance practices that you should always keep an eye out for.
Here are the Top 10 signs of bad faith insurance practices.
1. Misrepresenting the law or language of the policy
2. Denying or discounting payment for a valid claim without a reasonable basis
3. Delaying payment for a valid claim without reasonable justification
4. Refusing to provide a basis for a denial of a claim or settlement offer
5. Failing to conduct a prompt, thorough investigation into a claim
6. Offering a lower settlement amount that is inappropriate based on evidence
7. Failing to affirm or deny a claim within a reasonable time
8. Using rude, threatening, abusive, or intimidating tactics
9. Making unjustifiable and burdensome requests to support a valid claim
10. Fail to maintain consistent communication concerning a valid claim
Any time you are dealing with a claims adjuster, be aware of how they conduct their investigation. Essentially, the better you are able to understand what constitutes a bad faith insurance tactic, the harder it will be for you to fall victim to fraudulent insurance practices.
take steps to defend yourself
No matter what the circumstances may be, there are steps that you can take to defend yourself against bad faith insurance schemes. While it is hard to predict whether or not your insurer will act in bad faith, it is always best to be prepared. Firstly, keep documentation of all your interactions with your claims adjuster and the insurance company. If you are negotiating a claim, keep details notes of your correspondence. Furthermore, if you begin to suspect bad faith practices, make detailed descriptions of the actions and dates of the incidents.
Once you feel a claims adjuster is in violation of your rights, request written documentation to explain their actions. If they refuse, reach out directly to the insurance provider with documentation of the communication. If you are thorough in your explanation for concern, it shows the insurance company that you are aware of your rights and not willing to let them compromise your claim. Moreover, it creates documented evidence of your attempts to address the bad faith insurance activity. Hence, when you file a lawsuit your attorney will have documentation to use in court.
Finally, secure experienced legal representation. Utilizing an attorney with in-depth knowledge of bad faith insurance practices gives you an advantage. A personal injury lawyer from our team of lowercase attorneys will be able to walk you through the process of litigation. Not only do we understand the law, but we understand how to work with insurers to seek the maximum benefits for our clients. However, keep in mind that a claim is not always a bad faith insurance issue because it is rejected. A lowercase attorney will help you determine if you qualify for further legal action.
call us today
Our experienced attorneys at lowercase are ready to help you appraise the value of your claim. We fight to secure the compensation you deserve. Call us today at 833-LOW-FEE5 (833-569-3335) so our team can hold your insurance company accountable.