Businesses and professionals purchase general liability insurance, so they’re protected from most tort-related claims made against them. The insurer is contractually obligated to defend you and if needed to compensate the other party for the losses they’ve experienced, this is also known as the insurer’s duty to indemnify.
If you have general liability insurance, then your insurer is obligated to indemnify the other party for their losses if the court grants them a monetary award. However, some insurance companies will deny you the right to indemnification because they wish to make a profit from your policy.
If you’ve recently been denied indemnification, it’s imperative you seek an experienced insurance claims attorney.
Insurance Attorney for Denied Indemnification in Tampa, FL
If you’ve made a viable claim, then your insurance company should uphold it. Insurance companies who intentionally deny coverage for valid claims are acting in bad faith and can be held legally responsible. Learn more about your options by contacting Germain Law Group, P.A..
Michael B. Germain is an excellent insurance claims attorney with the experience to back it up. He will do whatever’s possible to maximize your settlement for you. Attorney Germain can do this by deposing insurance experts and public adjusters, as well as collecting crucial evidence.
Set up an appointment for a free consultation by calling this number (813) 835-8888. Michael B. Germain practices throughout the Hillsborough County area and adjacent counties including Paso County, Polk County, Sarasota County, and Pinellas County.
Overview of Denied Indemnification
- What is Indemnity in Connection to Liability Insurance?
- What Types of Claims Do I Have Indemnity From?
- Bad Faith Actions by Insurers
- Additional Resources
What is Indemnity in Connection to Liability Insurance?
General liability insurance is designed to protect you from liability claims stated in your policy. The insurer has two duties they must uphold which is the duty to defend and to indemnify. To indemnify someone is to stand in their place in regards to legal responsibility for damages or losses if they’ve been sued for a tort-related claim. The term stems from the Middle English word which translates to “unhurt, free from loss.”
It’s an unfortunate reality, but some insurance companies don’t up hold their end of the bargain with indemnification. They may deny you indemnity because they claim the losses are in excess of policy limits or the torts claim filed against you isn’t listed in your policy. No matter the circumstances, the insurer should uphold their duty to indemnify if your claim is valid.
It’s important to understand you cannot be indemnified from illegal activities. Crimes such as theft, harassment or fraud won’t be covered by your insurer.
What Types of Claims Do I Have Indemnity From?
The scope of your insurance indemnification depends on your policy. General liability insurance is typically divided into three coverage types which you can purchase separately or at the same time. If you currenty have Coverage A, then it’s likely you’re protected from paying damages for bodily injury or property damage claims.
These are claims related to negligence, which is the failure to behave with the same level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have done in the same situation. For example, if you failed to put out a wet floors sign on your premises and someone slipped and fell, then the injured person could file a claim against you for negligence.
Coverage A typically covers most bodily injury or property damage claims including:
- Premise Liability
- Product Liability;
- Operations liability;
- Liability for contractor’s acts; and
- Contractual liability
Coverage B encompasses personal and advertising injury, which is a financial injury rather than a physical one. If you have Coverage B, then you may have indemnity from:
- Libel Claims;
- Slander Claims;
- False arrest or persecution claims;
- Copyright infringement claims;
- Using another’s advertising ideas; and
- Wrongful entry, eviction or invasion or privacy
If a person was injured on your premises or at an off-premises job site, then Coverage C should cover their medical bills. This is a good option for people who want to avoid court and simply wish to collect payments for medical expenses. In these cases, it’s likely your insurance company will indemnify the other party without a lawsuit, because it’s already established that your negligence caused their injury.
It’s very important that you review your policy before making any major decisions. Not all policies are the same and yours may look different than what’s listed above. Your insurance policy should list what type of torts-claims your insurance company will indemnify, as well as any exclusions.
Bad Faith Actions by Insurers
An insurance company acts in bad faith if they refuse to uphold their express or implied duties to their policyholders. Actions such as unreasonable delays, avoiding phone calls and using confusing verbiage intentionally could be considered in bad faith. This can also include denying the insured their right to indemnification for a viable claim.
Insurers who act deceptively and in bad faith can be held liable for damages. For example, if your insurance company denies you indemnification for a tort claim that’s included in your policy, then you may be able to file a suit against them for acting in bad faith. General liability insurance companies should provide indemnity if the claim filed against you is in your policy.
If you suspect the denied indemnification is in bad faith, then you may be able to file a claim against your insurance company. You can then provide evidence as to why your insurance company was in bad faith in court until a jury decides a judgement. If you win your case, then your insurance company will be liable for any losses you’ve experienced such as settlement costs, interest and mental anguish.
Before making any sudden decisions, it’s recommended you review your policy. Your insurance company will do whatever they can to prove they weren’t acting in bad faith. If you breached the insurance contract yourself, it could lead you to paying two settlements instead of none. Ask yourself these questions before filing a bad faith claim against your insurer:
- Was the judgement or settlement costs in excess of policy limits?
- Were you easily able to contact your insurance agent?
- Was the torts-claim filed against me included in my policy?
- Did you experience unnecessary delays from your insurance company?
- How much effort did the insurance company take to investigate your claim?
How to On Liability Insurance – Visit the official website for the Insurance Information Institute (III) to learn more about liability insurance. Access the site to learn more about what liability insurance is, how damages are determined, the limits to your coverage and more.
Insurance Laws in Florida – Visit the official website for the Florida Statutes to learn more about their insurance laws. Access their site to find more information about general liability insurance, the limits to indemnification and the insurer’s duty to defend.
Lawyer for Denied Indemnification in Hillsborough County, Florida
If your liability insurance refuses to indemnify on a valid claim, then you may be able file a lawsuit against them for acting in bad faith. To get an in-depth understanding of your options, we recommend you contact Germain Law Group, P.A..
Michael B. Germain is a skilled and knowledgeable insurance claims lawyer who has helped numerous clients who were denied the right to indemnify. With his resources and experience, attorney Germain can help you recover from this. Contact us now at (813) 835-8888 to schedule a free consultation.
Germain Law Group, P.A. accepts clients throughout the greater Tampa Bay area including Brandon, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, and New Port Richey.
This article was last updated on June 21, 2019.