There’s a term that you may hear thrown around in professional circles in Jacksonville: “bad faith.” Typically, it is meant to describe the disingenuous actions of a party in reference to a deal or negotiation, yet its application can be different depending upon the context that it refers to. For example, insurance bad faith is a problem sometimes encountered by policyholders when trying to get claims resolved. Yet to recognize when it might be happening in your particular case, you first need to understand what it is.
It may seem easy for insurers to deny that they have acted in bad faith because the definition of the term seems so broad. Fortunately, state law defines exactly how it applies when dealing with an insurer. Section 624.155(1)(b)(1-3) of the Florida state statutes lists the following as being examples of insurance bad faith:
- Your insurer not attempting to settle a claim when, had it acted fairly and honestly towards you, it should have done so
- Your insurer offering claim payments without accompanying statements detailing the coverage the payments are meant to settle
- Your insurer failing to settle a claim under a certain portion of your policy in order to influence a settlement due under another portion
You many wonder why bad faith is even an issue when you are current on your monthly premiums. An adjustor brought in to settle your claim has an obligation to the insurance company, not you. Thus, he or she will try to secure the claim outcome that is most favorable for your insurer. However, you do have a contract with your insurer that it will operate in your best interest. This gives you the power to push for everything promised to you in your policy, even if it does not match what an adjustor is offering.