Insurance is supposed to be a security network for most of us. Technically, it’s a legal agreement between the insurance company and clients. But when they try to get out of their obligation to provide financial coverage to customers, that’s called bad faith.
No one wants to be the victim of bad faith insurance claims, but unfortunately, it happens more often than you might think. Florida insurance companies often engage in bad faith tactics by refusing to pay a claim or delaying payments without good reason. This can leave policyholders feeling frustrated and helpless.
Luckily, you can contact Tampa bad faith insurance attorneys who deal specifically with these complicated cases and will assist you in the process. Our attorneys have years of experience, valuable resources and connections to help you get the compensation that you deserve regarding your Tampa bad faith insurance case.
What Is Bad Faith Insurance in Tampa, Florida?
Bad faith is when an insurance company intentionally, dishonestly or unfairly denies or delays payment of a claim without a reasonable basis for doing so. In other words, the insurer does not act in good faith towards its policyholder. And, they are failing to uphold their legal or contractual obligations.
Tampa bad faith insurance claims can be incredibly frustrating for policyholders who have already suffered a loss. Imagine counting on your insurance coverage to help you recover, only to then find out your claim was undervalued or denied. This may feel like the insurance company is adding insult to injury. Not only is it frustrating, but it can also cause serious financial hardship. If you’re unable to pay for repairs or replacements out-of-pocket, which is the case for most people, then what do you do?
If you suspect you’ve been a victim of bad faith insurance tactics in Hillsborough County, don’t second-guess yourself. Consult a Tampa bad faith insurance attorney for assistance so that if that is the case, you can take the appropriate steps to protect your rights. Even if several years have passed since an initial incident, you do have a right, by Florida law, to file a claim. The Florida statute of limitations states exactly how long you or your Tampa personal injury lawyer have to file such claims.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Bad Faith Claims in Tampa?
There is a law in Florida that sets a time limit for filing a bad faith claim against an insurance company (Florida Statute 624.155). So, according to Florida law, you have five years from the date of the alleged bad faith insurance act to file a claim. The surest way to avoid missing the deadline or experiencing any unexpected obstacles is to hire a Tampa bad faith insurance attorney. It is important to be aware that if you miss this deadline, you will likely be barred from recovery.
Florida law clearly outlines the duties and obligations of insurers, and also protects the rights of policyholders. Therefore, by law, insurers must investigate and process claims promptly and fairly. It’s also illegal for them to unreasonably deny or delay payment of benefits. Lastly, if an insurer fails to meet these standards, the policyholder may be able to file a bad faith insurance claim against the insurer.
We recommend enlisting the help of an experienced Tampa bad faith insurance attorney to get the best outcome for your claim.
Common Types of Bad Faith Insurance Claims in The Tampa Bay Area
There are many different types of bad faith insurance claims that are possible in Tampa. Here are some of the most common grounds for bath fait insurance claims.
Sometimes insurance companies stall on purpose. But what many policyholders don’t know is that insurers have a duty to investigate and process claims promptly and efficiently.
If an insurer unreasonably delays processing your claim, you may be able to file a bad faith insurance claim with the help of a Tampa bad faith insurance attorney.
Denying Coverage Without a Good Reason
Sometimes, they don’t just delay, they flat out deny completely valid claims. They do so to avoid paying for benefits. Unfortunately, some insurers will deny coverage even when it is clear that the policyholder’s loss is covered by their policy. If your damages are clearly and listed and included in your policy, but your claim was denied, call an attorney.
It seems completely unfair because it is. But insurance companies deny claims without reasonable explanations all the time. Speak with a knowledgeable Tampa Bath Faith Attorney to help review your policy guidelines and get started on your case sooner rather than later.
Offering Unfairly Low Settlements
Insurance companies in Florida have a bad rap for lowballing policyholders. Meaning, they knowingly offer less than what you deserve with their initial offer. Depending on the other circumstances of your case, this could be grounds for a Tampa bad faith insurance claim.
A Refusal to Defend Their Policyholder
Failure to provide legal defense to a policyholder when it’s included in their coverage is an act of bad faith. If your policy requires your insurer to provide legal defense but they fail to do so when a claim is brought against you, you can take legal action against them. This might require you to file a declaratory action against your insurer. In a declaratory action, the court determines if your insurer owes you legal defense or not.
Remember that every insurance company will try to work on benefiting themselves rather than representing your best interest. We highly recommend that you contact one of our Tampa bad faith insurance attorneys for a free consultation in regards to your specific case.
How Do I File a Bad Faith Insurance Claim in Tampa, Florida?
If you do find yourself in a situation where you need to file an insurance claim, make sure to follow requirements for proper filing. In Tampa, Florida the insurance company must be given 60 days to resolve the alleged violation.
You can start the process by filing a notice with both the insurance company and the Department of Financial Services. If your claim is settled to your satisfaction within 60 days, you do not have a bad faith claim anymore. In the case your claim is not settled, you can file a complaint in court.
Many insurance companies have allocated big legal teams to fight against bad faith claims. Therefore, it is not advisable to fight them on your own. With an experienced and knowledgeable Tampa bad faith insurance attorney, you have way better chances to win your case.
Usually the filling process is stressful. Often, insurance companies will try to turn the fault on you saying you filled the claim negligently. Therefore, it is important to make sure that you document everything thoroughly. This includes taking photos or videos of any damage, keeping records of all conversations with your insurer or agent, and saving copies of any correspondence related to the claim (emails, letters, etc.). The more evidence you have to back up your claim, the better chance you or your Tampa bad faith insurance attorney will have of successful recovery.
Make sure to speak to a Tampa bad faith insurance attorney before submitting your claim to confirm that you are following protocol and have all the important documentation.
Do I Need a Tampa Bad Faith Insurance Attorney to File a Claim?
No, in Tampa, Florida, you are not required to have a bad faith insurance attorney or Tampa personal injury lawyer to file your claim. However, dealing with the aftermath of an incident and making sure you are following all the protocol for correct filing to fight your insurance company can be quite complicated and require a lot of your time.
If you work with an experienced Tampa bad faith insurance attorney, then you can be assured that your claim is being pursued according to Florida law. Your attorney will take all the procedural steps necessary to assist you in your claim. They will fight on your behalf and dispute any denial from your insurance company to honor your claim, ensuring you receive fair payment.
Contact a Tampa Bad Faith Insurance Attorney Today
If you think your insurance company has acted in bad faith, please do not hesitate to contact us today to see if an experienced Tampa bad faith insurance attorney can help. With years of experience, we are here to represent and serve your best interests.
Schedule your free consultation today.