Insurance Disputes FAQ

Insurance companies have a self interest to not pay claims. You should never have to represent yourself alone against an insurance company or accept an unfair settlement offer. If an insurance company refuses to pay your claim, denies payment or offers an insufficient amount, it would be wise to hire a lawyer to enforce the insurance company’s obligations. If your question is not answered below, or if you or someone you love has a bad faith insurance claim in Florida, please contact the experienced insurance dispute attorneys of Holland & Lamoureux at (866) 225-4907 for a free initial consultation. We’ll help get the compensation you deserve.

What does the term “bad faith” insurance mean?

“Bad faith” refers to unreasonable or unfair conduct by an insurance company. An insurance policy is considered a contract between you (the Insured) and your insurance carrier (the Insurer). Bad faith insurance is any matter regarding an insurance claim by an Insured that is wrongfully denied by the Insurer. This contract requires that your Insurer acts in “good faith” toward you. When an Insurer unreasonably withholds the benefits of the policy from its Insured, it is considered to be in “bad faith.”

Why do insurance companies (insurers) commit “bad faith?”

Insurance companies have a self interest to not pay claims; it saves them money. Companies receive thousands of claims daily and wrongfully deny many of them. Very few people actually dispute their claim, which keeps millions of dollars with the company. If an insurance company refuses to pay your claim, denies payment or offers an insufficient amount, it would be wise to hire a lawyer to enforce the insurance company’s obligations. You should never have to represent yourself alone against an insurance company or accept an unfair settlement offer.

What are some examples of “bad faith” conduct?

Some examples are:

  • Failing to promptly and thoroughly investigate a claim
  • Unreasonable interpretations in translating policy language
  • Refusing to settle the case or reimburse you for the entirety of your loss, etc.
  • Unreasonable denial of benefits to a claim or termination of an insurance claim that should have been paid
  • Unreasonable delay in making payments to the policyholder
  • Unreasonable failure to defend a policyholder who has been sued under a policy containing a liability provision
  • Unreasonable attempts to under-settle or lowball the payment of a claim

How do I know I have a “bad faith” insurance claim?

When you purchase an insurance policy, whether for life insurance, disability insurance, homeowners insurance or any other type of policy, you are entitled to the full benefits of the policy if you have a covered claim. If the insurance company refuses to pay or if it delays your payment, you may have a bad faith insurance claim.

Can an insurance company deny my claim?

Yes. Insurers have the right to deny your claim if you have reneged on your end of the contract, or if the claim is fraudulent or not covered by the policy. Bad faith occurs when the insurance company’s conduct is egregious.

What if my insurance company still continues to deny my claim and commits bad faith?

Insurance policies are very confusing and filled with many loopholes which can keep you from getting all the benefits you are due. If you are having a problem collecting benefits you feel you are entitled to, bring your policy and documentation to Holland & Lamoureux for a free consultation. After a quick review of the policy, we will be able to determine whether or not coverage applies for your loss, and whether or not the Insurer has committed bad faith.

What if I’m given a really low offer by my insurance company?

Intentionally offering a settlement far lower than what is reasonable could be a case for bad faith. Insurance companies have an obligation to deal with their insured in a reasonable, fair manner. “Low-balling,” as it is typically referred to, is simply a form of bad faith.

What can I recover if I sue my Insurer for bad faith?

If the Court finds the Insurer wrongfully denied your claim, you would be eligible to recover the benefits of the policy for the claim, and possibly consequential losses and damages suffered for emotional distress, lost income and attorney fees. In some cases where the Insurer has exhibited flagrant, intentional and/or gross misconduct, punitive damages are awarded.

Related Information

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