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Manatee County Bad Faith Insurance Lawyers

People deserve to feel secure in knowing that insurance coverage purchased with hard-earned money will be there for them when they need it. Oftentimes, however, just the opposite occurs. Insurance companies may delay and deny claims unlawfully. Sometimes they will just offer completely inadequate settlements. If this has happened to you, you may have recourse. Please don’t hesitate to contact the seasoned Manatee County bad faith insurance lawyers here at Becker & Lindauer for guidance today.

Bad Faith Insurance Lawyers | Here to Fight for Your Best Interests

When an insurance company acts in bad faith, there exists the potential to recover even more than your policy limit. This is true of both the at-fault party’s insurance carrier and your own. However, the rules that apply to first-party bad faith and third-party bad faith are different. Let us put our experienced bad faith insurance lawyers to work for you.

What is a Bad Faith Insurance Claim?

When you purchase insurance, you enter into a contract with your insurance company. This contract is not just about paying premiums; it’s also about trust and fairness. A bad faith insurance claim arises when your insurance company fails to honor this trust. It occurs when the insurer unreasonably withholds the benefits of the policy from the insured. Bad faith can manifest in several ways, including the following:

  • Unreasonable Delays: If an insurance company unnecessarily prolongs the process of investigating or paying a claim, it may constitute bad faith.
  • Inadequate Settlement Offer: Offering a settlement far below what is fair given the circumstances of the claim is another form of bad faith.
  • Unwarranted Claim Denial: When an insurance company denies a claim without a reasonable basis, it is acting in bad faith.
  • Lack of Communication: Failing to communicate promptly and effectively with you about claim-related matters can also be a sign of bad faith.

If you suspect that your insurance company is not dealing with your claim fairly, you may have the grounds to file a bad faith insurance claim. This allows you to seek compensation beyond the original policy limits, potentially covering additional damages like emotional distress and attorney fees.

What is the Difference Between First and Third-Party Bad Faith Insurance Claims?

A first-party bad faith claim involves a direct relationship between the policyholder (you) and your insurance company. This type of claim typically arises when your own insurance company fails to properly handle your health insurance, life insurance, disability insurance, or property/auto insurance claim.

On the other hand, third-party bad faith claims involve situations where the insurance company fails to properly defend or settle claims brought against their policyholder by another person.

The main differences between the two are the nature of the relationship and the types of damages involved. For example, in first-party claims, the duty is directly towards you as the policyholder. In third-party claims, the duty is towards defending and indemnifying you against claims made by others.

Additionally, In first-party claims, damages can include the amount owed under the policy plus additional damages caused by the bad faith conduct. In third-party claims, damages can extend to cover the excess judgment or settlement amounts over the policy limits, as well as other related losses.

What Are My Rights in Florida?

In Florida, the law protects policyholders from bad faith insurance practices. Some of your rights in the scope of bad faith insurance claims are as follows:

  • Right to Fair Handling: You have the right to expect your insurance company to handle your claim fairly and promptly.
  • Right to Information: You are entitled to a clear explanation of any claim decisions, including reasons for denial or settlement offers.
  • Right to Sue for Bad Faith: Florida Statute §624.155 allows you to file a lawsuit against an insurance company if they have handled your claim in bad faith.
  • Statute of Limitations: In Florida, you generally have five years from the date of the incident to file a bad faith claim, but this can vary depending on the specifics of your case.
  • Right to Legal Representation: You have the right to seek legal counsel to guide you through the process and ensure your rights are protected.

Contact Becker & Lindauer, LLC Today

At Becker & Lindauer, our experienced bad faith insurance lawyers are well-versed in Florida’s insurance laws. We are prepared to assess your situation, inform you of your rights, and, from there, fight for the best outcome possible on your behalf. Contact our Manatee County law firm today so we can get started working on your case.