Insurance Law: Bad Faith Explained

As a property owner, you carry insurance on your property to protect you in case of any accidents. When you pay your insurance bill, you expect your insurance company will return the deed if your property needs repairs. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. If your insurance company fails to pay you for your repairs, you might be eligible to bring a bad faith case against them. Here’s what you need to know about bad faith insurance cases.

What Is Bad Faith?

Many states, such as Florida, believe that insurance companies owe their clients a service of good faith. In State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. Laforet, the Florida court said insurance companies have a “duty to their insureds to refrain from acting solely on the basis of their own interest in settlement.” This means the insurance company will not knowingly withhold payments or settlement to their clients strictly for their own gain.

Some examples of bad faith include:

  • Attempting to settle claims without notifying the insured
  • Specifically under-settling or underpaying a claim
  • Failing to answer questions from the insured in a timely manner
  • Inability to appropriately communicate pertinent information with the insured (such as requests for additional information or completion of a different form)
  • Improperly investigating claims
  • Denying claims without reasonable investigation

What Should You Do If You Believe Your Insurance Company Has Acted in Bad Faith?

If you have the feeling that your insurance company is acting in bad faith, you should call the company. For those who haven’t seen any progress on their claim, you will want to find out who your adjuster is and talk to that person. For those who have received a claim denial or a notice that their payment will be significantly less than expected, call and talk to your adjuster’s supervisor. If the supervisor stands behind the adjuster’s decision, you will want to find a lawyer who has experience dealing with insurance companies.

Do You Need an Insurance Lawyer?

If you believe your insurance company has acted in bad faith, you need a qualified insurance attorney. You need someone with experience dealing with insurance companies and insurance claims. That’s why you should give Barnard Law Offices a call. Our professionals are happy to answer any questions you may have and suggest how you should proceed in order to get the insurance settlement you deserve. Give our office a call today at (305) 665-0000 or contact us online to find out how we can help.

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Barnard Law Offices

The Barnard Law Offices, L.P. has been protecting the rights of Floridians for four generations. Together our attorneys bring years of insurance claim advocacy and trial experience to the table. We don’t believe in half-hearted measures when it comes to proving your claim: after inspecting the damage to your property, our office will engage or connect you with high-quality third-party professionals to assist you with your claim and assess your property damage. Our talented team is dedicated to serving each client’s needs with a passion and commitment that makes us stand out among our peers.
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