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The basics of the insurance bad faith law

Insurance bad faith is a legal claim practiced in the United States, and describes a tort claim a person can have against an insurance company for bad or unfair acts. In Florida, this law allows an individual to recover damages from insurers for various reasons. Typically, this type of law helps settle a claim in good faith that the insurer should have initially carried out.

The Florida Senate clarifies the basics of the insurance bad faith law. According to its 2012 Interim Report, the state of Florida has had bad faith remedies in place through the common law and statute for many years, with a primary focus on helping insurance consumers with the protection needed in the case of insurers' unfair practices. The law has sparked controversy over the years concerning the level of ethics used in such bad faith cases, but officials consistently conduct research to better strategize the ways this practice is executed. The Florida Senate points out that the two major categories of insurance affiliated with bad faith are property insurance, in which a number of natural disasters can damage an individual's home and cause complications in insurance, and liability insurance, which can become complex in the case of determining the liability in vehicle collisions.  

The United Policyholders produced a survey concerning bad faith insurance in America. While the legal protections and remedies available to citizens who are harmed by unreasonable conduct by insurers varies depending on state, the survey covers some of the available remedies for when those rules are violated. The UP also provides discussion on the following aspects concerning bad faith insurance:

  • The Unfair Claims Settlements Practices Act (adopted in nearly every state)
  • The National Association of Insurance Commissioners
  • Court systems and rulings
  • Types of remedies for recovering damages, including economic loss, tort damages and attorney's fees    

The United Policyholders survey also covers Florida's specific insurance bad faith laws, noting that the state enacted a Civil Remedy Statute to help protect citizens in authorizing first-party bad faith actions against insurers. 

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