In Florida, persons can sue an insurer if they believe the insurer acted in "bad faith" by refusing to settle a claim or when defending a claim. Among other things, the law allows for persons to sue their insurance company if they believe the insurance company's actions resulted in additional damages or legal costs. Florida has had bad faith remedies available through the common law (case law decisions) and statute for a very long time. The purpose of these safeguards is to protect consumers from unfair practices of insurers. Obviously, insurers are in a superior position than consumers, and laws such as these are designed to help the insured-those in a much powerless position than the big insurance companies-transact business with insurance companies in a way that is fair and equitable. Some critics of these safeguards, however, have alleged that the current laws allow for causes of action by insureds or third parties that require the insurance company to defend against unfair, yet legal, tactics.
Florida Statute sec. 627.7015 sets out a mediation requirement that insurers must offer to policyholders for disputed property insurance claims under personal lines and commercial residential policies that must take place before the appraisal process has started or before any lawsuits have been filed. As most of these types of policies require participation in an adversarial appraisal process, this law is designed to assist policyholders by providing with them an informal, unintimidating forum to resolve these disputes before they reach the expensive, protracted adversarial appraisal process stage.
Most states have laws protecting policyholders from bad faith and unfair dealing from insurance companies. Luckily, Florida is one of those states. The Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act ensures that insurance companies address, investigate, and satisfy all claims in a thorough and a timely fashion, and settle claims fairly. Insurers must set forth a reasonable process for evaluating claims, and let the policyholder know if any extra information is needed before denying a claim due to a lack of said information.When a claim is denied, a written explanation is required. Additionally, insurance companies must avoid certain deceptive practices, from engaging in false advertising, to misleading the policyholder about the terms of his or her policy, to making any false statement or entry, among many other requirements and prohibitions.
The trauma of being involved in an auto accident can be exasperated by the frustration of a denied auto insurance claim. You may feel angry or confused about the insurance company's decision to deny your claim, but it is important to avoid directing your anger at your insurer. Here are the steps you need to take once you receive a denial notice from your auto insurance company.
On April 16th, 2013, the United States Supreme Court issued its opinion in U.S. Airways v. McCutchen. The decision will have lasting and unfortunate impacts on an injured party's right to obtain full compensation for injuries.
Trucking Accidents Can Cause Significant Damage
When it comes to insurance, the first thing that often comes to mind is "risk". Insurance, after all, is protecting against risk, whether the "risk" involves auto, property, professional, life, or disability. When some unfortunate event happens, like someone gets injured on your property, or some hurricane or tropical storm comes across your area and causes damage to your home, or you get into an auto accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Do you have enough insurance? Will the insurance cover this? When is the last time I saw my homeowners' policy? Do I have the insurance I think I have?