Property owners, condo associations, commercial property owners, and builders will rely on property insurance to cover the cost of repairs or any loss related to property damage. However, many insurance companies deny or dispute a property insurance claim, which can be financially devastating for a property owner, property management company, and homeowners association. The experienced property insurance attorneys at Corless Barfield Trial Group have helped property owners get the compensation they deserve. Moreover, Corless Barfield attorneys pride themselves on enforcing the contractual rights of their clients.
As mentioned above, insurance companies habitually and intentionally delay the investigation or payment of insurance claims. The insurance company sometimes does not answer phone calls, they fail to offer a reasonable explanation for coverage denial in writing, they make material misrepresentations, they fail to notify the insured in a timely manner of additional information needed to resolve the claim, or they request unnecessary documentation before processing the claim.
All Florida insurance companies have the legal duty to use good faith claim settlement practices. Your insurance policy is a contract that requires your insurer to act in good faith toward you in the event of an incident. There is an underlying legal principle of contract law called the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, which is the general assumption that the two parties entering into the contract will act in good faith.
Examples of bad faith include threats against an insured, refusing to make a reasonable settlement offer, or making unreasonable interpretations of an insurance policy. Insurance bad faith is a cause of action that is brought against an insurance company for breaching its duty to act in good faith towards its insured in handling the defense or settlement of a claim. Insurance companies must be held accountable for any unreasonable conduct resulting in denial or delay of a claim payment.
A few additional examples of insurers committing bad faith because they have failed to act fairly and honestly towards the insured include:
- Requiring unreasonable and unnecessary documentation by the insured
- Failing to settle a claim within its policy limits when it should have done so had it acted fairly and honestly towards its insured
- Unreasonable stalling on making a decision on a claim
- Low-balling a claim without justification
- Failing to provide notice of policy changes
- Delay payment on a claim which by reasonable standards would be considered valid
- Denies claims after failing to conduct a reasonable investigation
- Refuses to settle the case or reimburse you for your entire loss
Insurance companies are not looking out for your interests. They are only looking out for their own financial security. For a free consultation regarding your insurance claim, call Corless Barfield at 813-258-4998 or 877-517-5595.