Most people faithfully pay premiums for years to insurance companies that promise to provide a safety net to policyholders when accidents or other unforeseen events occur. Unfortunately, many times insurers try to find ways not to honor these policies.
When insurance companies put their own financial interests ahead of policyholders, whether it’s for health, auto, homeowners, personal liability or life insurance claims, it may be necessary to pursue a bad faith insurance claim to hold them accountable.
What are common bad faith tactics?
Bad faith by an insurer typically involves unfair or dishonest practices, and they can be challenging to prove. By law, insurance companies must investigate, negotiate and settle claims in good faith. However, there are red flags when an insurer acts in bad faith, including:
- Unreasonable delays: Insurers drag out an investigation before agreeing to pay, typically to see whether the policyholder will give up or settle for less.
- Inadequate investigations: Every insurer must work in good faith and deal fairly to uphold policy provisions, and they are required to conduct thorough and prompt investigations.
- Deceptive practices: Insurers can deceive you by failing to notify you that a coverage exists, or not informing you about a deadline to file a claim or provide paperwork to complete claims on time.
- Lowball offers: Insurance companies cannot avoid paying valid claims to boost their profits. Offering less money than a claim is worth can be considered an act of bad faith.
- Intimidation: Insurers cannot use threatening language to policyholders in an attempt to force them into accepting inadequate or lowball offers.
Hold an insurer accountable for bad faith practices
An insurance adjuster is not your friend. Their mission is to pay you as little as possible and protect the company’s bottom line. If you feel an insurer acted in bad faith, you have five years under Florida’s statute of limitations to file a claim.
An attorney with decades of experience in bad faith actions is essential to protecting your interests. These cases are aggressively defended and can be challenging to resolve. Choosing an attorney who is also knowledgeable in mediation can help you receive the best possible outcome.