How Insurance Companies Act in Bad Faith


Insurers have a fiduciary obligation to engage in good faith when dealing with personal injury cases. Specifically, every insurance contract contains an implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing.

When a person signs up for automobile insurance, homeowner's insurance, or any other type of insurance, he or she is depending on the fact that the insurer will provide the necessary coverage if the unexpected happens – up to and including the policy limits of coverage.

Insurance companies refuse to pay and defend insurance claims for a variety of reasons. In some cases, insurers may drag their feet and unnecessarily delay the settlement process.

In other cases, the insurance company may renege on a settlement offer and take it off the table before the injured accident victim has a chance to accept it.

If any of these situations arise in your personal injury case, you bad faith insurance claim under the law even if the final value of your claim exceeds the coverage limit of the insurance policy.

To understand why it refuses to pay or settle claims, first of all, insurance companies, like any business, are in it to make money. The less money insurance companies pay to satisfy personal injury claims, the more money they are able to keep in the house.

As a result, insurance companies and their adjusters will do everything in their power to delay the settlement process and limit their liability exposure.

If you believe a motor vehicle or other accident may have led to a bad faith claim against your insurance company, the Clearwater bad faith insurance claim attorneys at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA are ready and willing to help.

Our attorneys deal with insurance companies and their adjusters on a daily basis and are well-versed in the arguments they advance in an attempt to avoid paying money. Our attorneys can review the claims judgment in your case and may be able to file a bad faith claim on your behalf.

To live up to the language of the insurance policy

It is the duty of the insurance company to live up to the language and intent of its policy.

Every insurance policy contains an implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing that requires the insurance company to:

  • fairly, honestly evaluate every claim and fairly

  • settle any claim filed against a covered person Do it if it can be done within the available policy limits

Insurance companies How bad faith

claims can take many forms. In some cases, an insurance company may deny a personal injury claim that falls within the insurance company's range of coverage—but without explaining a good reason.

In other cases, the insurance company may fail to properly investigate a claim or fail to make a genuine offer to settle the claim.

This includes failing to make an offer that covers the accident victim's specific damages (ie the accident victim's medical bills and lost wages as a result of the accident).

Sometimes, insurance fraud is more intentional, and the adjuster may intentionally misrepresent the terms of insurance coverage—such as the amount of a policy's limit—only to deny an insurance claim.

A bad faith claim against an insurance company

centers bad faith insurance claim around a breach of contract – specifically, that the insurance company violated an implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing in the contract.

Florida law also provides a legal remedy for fighting bad faith insurance claims. A bad faith insurance claim may involve a third party claim or a first party claim.

If an injured accident victim files a claim or lawsuit against you, and your insurance company refuses to provide you with a valid legal defense, you may be able to make a third-party bad faith insurance claim against your insurance company. . In this case, the covered person is the "third party".

A first-party bad faith claim is usually brought by an injured accident victim against his insurance company.

These first-party bad faith claims usually arise in motorist contexts with little or no insurance. All Florida motor vehicle drivers are required to maintain insurance. Generally speaking, motor vehicle insurance follows the vehicle – not the driver or owner.

Inexplicably, however, some individuals do not maintain motor vehicle insurance coverage – or they do not maintain sufficient coverage. When these drivers cause an accident and the accident victim's damages exceed the at-fault driver's coverage limit, the accident victim can turn to their insurance company to make up the difference.

If the at-fault driver is underinsured, this type of claim is called an underinsured motorist claim. If the at-fault driver is fully uninsured, this is called an uninsured motorist claim.

To be eligible to make a claim against your own insurance company for uninsured motorist coverage (UM) or underinsured motorist coverage (UIM), all other available policies of insurance must first be exhausted.

If your own insurance coverage refuses to replace the at-fault driver and provide you with additional coverage, you may be able to make a first-party bad faith claim against your own automobile insurance company.

Call a Florida Personal Injury Lawyer Today

Florida can be very technical and complicated. If you decide to file one of these claims, you need an experienced personal injury attorney on your side who can guide you through the process.

The Clearwater personal injury attorney at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA can explain all of your legal options with you.

If you and your attorney decide that filing a bad-faith insurance claim is appropriate, your attorney can file the necessary documents on your behalf.

To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with a Clearwater Bad Faith insurance claims attorney, please call us at 727-451-6500 or contact us online.

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