Construction teams and design firms understand there is a lot of risk with creating new projects such as buildings or paving roads. That is why most contractors or construction companies have some type of general liability insurance to protect them. It shields them from financial responsibility of torts-related claims such as personal injury and premise liability.

What happens, however, if your insurer rejects a viable claim you filed? Some insurance companies will look for reasons to deny or dispute a claim so they can make a profit from your policy. This can leave you stuck with the costs of a lawsuit even though you were prepared with liability insurance.

Don’t allow your insurance company to continue acting in bad faith. If your general liability insurance denied you coverage recently, it’s important you have legal representation.

Insurance Attorney for Construction Workers in Tampa, FL

You purchased liability insurance for one reason, so you could be protected from lawsuits. There’s no reason insurance company shouldn’t deny viable coverage from you if you’ve paid your premiums on time. If you are disputing with your general liability insurance, then it’s highly recommended you contact Germain Law Group, P.A..

Attorney Michael B. Germain has represented the interests of the insured for years. He can assist you by utilizing his extensive knowledge and resources. Call him now at (813) 835-8888 to set up a free consultation appointment. Attorney Germain practices law throughout the greater Hillsborough County area and surrounding counties including Polk County, Pasco County, Sarasota County, and Pinellas County.

Overview of Denied Construction Claims in FL

Why Your Liability Insurance May Have Denied Your Claim

The purpose of your liability insurance is to protect you from torts-related lawsuits. Your insurance company should front the cost to defend you as well as to indemnify you from the other party.

Unfortunately, some insurance companies will attempt to deny your claim so they can make a profit from your policy. Some insurers dispute or deny coverage to construction workers because the claim filed against you isn’t included in your policy. Claims that aren’t incorporated in your insurance policy are referred to as exclusions. Your insurance company may state the claim filed against you wasn’t in your policy, so they cannot provide coverage.

In some cases, insurers try to find reasons to state the claim filed against you is an exclusion. For example, suppose you’re a construction manager and the client you’re building for is injured on site and they accuse you of going over budget. The former client then files a claim against you for abusing the budget and compensation for their medical cost. You go to your insurance company asking for coverage, but they deny it to you because the claim discusses budget issues. However, your policy clearly states that medical expenses are covered.

Some insurers won’t deny you a defense, but they will deny you the right to indemnify. This is because the standard to defend in Florida is incredibly low. The law requires insurance companies to defend their policyholders if mere allegations that are included in their policy are filed against them.

Instead of defending you, they will file a reservation of rights letter, which basically states they can suspend coverage at any time of your case. In some cases, it also means they can choose the firm that defends you. They can then at any moment stop paying your attorney’s fees or refuse to indemnify the plaintiff once the trial is over.

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What Can I Do If My Insurance Denies My Claim?

It’s stressful enough to have a claim filed against you, but if your insurance denies coverage then you have an even bigger problem. Thankfully, you can fight back by filing a claim against your insurance company for acting in bad faith. An insurance company acts in bad faith when they refuse to uphold their express or implied duties to their policyholders.

You can prove your insurance company is in bad faith by hiring experienced legal representation. Your insurance claims attorney can collect vital evidence that proves your insurer’s decision to deny or suspend coverage was in bad faith. They can do this by deposing experts such as architects, public adjusters, structural engineers, and other professionals. Your attorney can also utilize their knowledge of insurance to prove that the claim you filed was viable and included in your policy.

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Damages Recovered from a Bad Faith Claim

If you win your case, then your insurer will be liable for the losses you’ve experienced because of their actions. These losses are referred to as damages in the legal world. Your damages can be either financial such as judgement costs or attorney’s fees. They can also be emotional such as mental anguish or emotional distress.

Listed below are some damages you could recover if your insurer is held responsible.

  • Judgement costs from prior claim;
  • Attorney’s fees;
  • Court costs;
  • Interest accumulated from prior settlement;
  • Emotional distress; and
  • Loss of consortium

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Additional Resources

What is Liability Insurance? – Visit the official website of the Insurance Information Institute to learn more about liability insurance. Access their site to see why you should have liability insurance, how damages are determined, and your rights as the insured.

Insurance Laws in Florida – Visit the official website of the Florida Statues to learn more about legislation regarding insurance. Access their laws to see regulations in contracts, types of insurance, what limits there are to liability insurance and more.

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Lawyer for Construction Companies and Workers in Hillsborough County, Florida

You purchase insurance policies for when you are in a time of need. When that time comes and your insurance isn’t there for you, you can call Germain Law Group, P.A.. Michael B. Germain will be on your side throughout the process while providing effective and efficient legal representation.

Contact us now at (813) 835-8888 to set up a free consultation. We accept clients throughout the Tampa Bay area and surrounding cities including St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Brandon, Bradenton, and Temple Terrace.

This article was last updated on June 21, 2019.