When you purchase an insurance policy in the state of Florida, you expect that the insurance company will pay out damages should you incur losses when disaster strikes. You expect peace of mind. That’s the whole point of insurance, right?
Sadly, not all insurance companies fairly pay out claimants according to the terms of their policies. When insurance companies negligently deny valid claims, unreasonably undervalue claims, or fail to properly investigate claims, this is known as bad faith. The good news is that you have legal rights to fight back against insurance bad faith if you know what to look for.
There are several different warning signs that you should keep in mind when filing a claim or when you receive word that your claim has been denied or undervalued. Below are five different examples of insurance practices that may point to insurance bad faith.
Using Misleading Policy Language
Part of an insurance company’s duty is to be truthful and honest about an individual’s policy, their coverage, and the law. Many policies, however, use incredibly vague language and the insurance company may try to deny a claim by stating the specific event is not covered. If your claim was denied due to vague language within your policy, a local bad faith insurance attorney can review your specific policy to determine if there is room for argument or interpretation.
Dragging Out the Claims Process
Florida law requires that insurance companies investigate claims thoroughly in a timely manner. However, some insurance companies will drag out the time it takes to investigate a claim before agreeing to pay it. They purposefully use this tactic in order to see if the policyholder or claimant will simply give up the claim or agree to take a lowball settlement.
Make Unnecessary or Irrelevant Requests for Documents
When you make a claim against an insurance company, you can expect that the insurance company will want some sort of related evidence to back up your claim. This makes sense and can be expected. However, some insurance companies act in bad faith by requesting excessive proof of losses or requests for unnecessary or irrelevant documents. Again, they do this in order to scare claimants away from pursuing full compensation, even for valid claims.
Not Giving You a Reason for a Claim Denial
In order to legally deny your claim, the insurance company must give you a specific and valid reason why it was denied. They cannot simply deny your claim and leave you in the dark about their reasoning behind doing so. If the insurance company refuses to give you a reason, or if the reason does not seem valid, it could be a sign that the insurance company is acting in bad faith.
Offering You Less Than What Your Claim Is Worth
Insurance companies are businesses and make money by making lowball settlement offers to claimants. They don’t want to pay you a penny more than they think you will accept. However, remember that you have the right to expect full coverage and the compensation necessary to recover when the unexpected happens. If you believe that the insurance company is unfairly undervaluing your claim, get the assistance of an insurance bad faith attorney.
Protecting the Rights of Florida Policyholders
Bad faith insurance claims and lawsuits can become incredibly complex. If you believe that your insurance claim was denied or undervalued unfairly by the insurance company, never attempt to handle a bad faith insurance claim on your own.
At Law Offices of John D. Ameen, P.A., our Fort Lauderdale insurance bad faith lawyers have been protecting the rights of policyholders across Florida for decades. Our team would be proud to fight for your rights to full compensation and ensure that your wellbeing is prioritized throughout the entire legal process.
Contact our firm at (800) 953-2858 to get started with your free consultation and policy review. We answer our phones 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!