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An auto insurance company must act in good faith when you file a claim. They must seriously and honestly consider your claim and act within the bounds of the contract you have signed with them. However, after you have an auto accident, some auto insurance companies may reject your claim, unnecessarily delay it or offer you a dramatically insufficient settlement for specious and weak reasons.
If your auto insurance company is acting in bad faith, a Tampa bad faith lawyer can take them on and help you get what you're owed. You pay premiums for a policy that will cover you when you need it.
When your auto insurance company acts in bad faith to dodge its responsibility, our experienced attorneys at the Germain Law Group will take them on. Call Germain Law Group today at (813) 835-8888 or submit an online form to schedule a consultation about your bad faith claim.
The Germain Law Group represents clients throughout Hillsborough County, including Tampa, Plant City, Temple Terrace, Sun City Center, Clair-Mel City, Hunters Green, Sweetwater Creek, Bay Crest Park, and surrounding communities.
An insurance company is supposed to act in the best interests of its insured. This means, when a policy holder makes a valid claim, it is to settle the claim as promptly as possible in liability issues, not taking any unnecessary actions to delay settling it. In issues not pertaining to liability, it means paying claims once it becomes reasonably clear that the insurance company will need to pay them.
Bad faith occurs when your auto insurance company denies payment for something that is clearly covered, when it is slow to act and claims a need for more "investigation" when the facts are clear, when its investigation methods fall far below the standards an insurance company should use, or when an auto insurance company attempts to make a settlement that is clearly insufficient.
Under Fla. Stat. 624.155 a person may bring an action against an insurer in the following instances:
Unfair methods of competition and unfair deceptive practices: Essentially, an insurer is considered in bad faith if it makes misrepresentations regarding the benefits, conditions, or terms of an insurance policy.
For instance, if your policy clearly covers uninsured motorists and an uninsured motorist rear-ends you at a stop light, it is clear that the insurance company should be offering payment. If they don't pay promptly, or try to deny payment, they could be acting in bad faith.
An auto insurance company may also act in bad faith if it misrepresents any facts or any details about your policy.
False Information and Advertising, Generally: An insurer is considered to act in bad faith if it knowingly makes representations to the general public in print, radio, television, or any other form of advertising.
For example, if an insurer advertises on radio and television that it always covers rear-end accidents regardless of whether the other vehicle caused the accident or not. If you rear-end a vehicle and the insurer refuses to cover the accident, it acted in bad faith.
The aforementioned examples are non-exhaustive. It is important to consult an experienced Tampa bad faith automobile claim lawyer about your specific case.
When your insurance company acts in bad faith, Florida law gives you the right to pursue damages, including court costs and attorney's fees. Additionally, if the insurance company acted in a manner that was willful, wanton or malicious, you may be entitled to punitive damages. Your Tampa insurance bad faith attorney can help you make your case. However, it's important to act quickly. Under Florida statute, you only have five years to file your claim.
If your auto insurance company is acting in bad faith, a Tampa bad faith attorney can help hold them accountable. The attorneys at Germain Law Group will fight for you. Call Germain Law Group today at (813) 835-8888 or submit an online form to set up a consultation.
The attorneys of Germain Law Group represent clients in all bad faith claims, including automobile insurance bad faith, homeowner insurance bad faith, and general liability insurance bad faith claim. Germain Law Group proudly serves individuals throughout Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Hernando, Citrus, Sumter counties, and surrounding areas.