In many insurance disputes clients often ask whether they have a bad faith claim. Florida law generally recognizes a bad faith action for insurance disputes, also known as “third-party bad faith”, when an insurer has acted in bad faith and has failed to act fairly and honestly toward its insured and with due regard for the policyholder’s interest.
Before bringing a bad faith claim for the insurance company’s failure to act fairly and honestly, the claimant or policyholder has to meet certain conditions. These “condition precedents” include receiving a favorable coverage determination under the policy, establishing entitlement to insurance benefits or a wrongful denial, filing a civil remedies notice, and providing the necessary cure period.
After meeting the conditions precedent, the policy holder must establish their prima facie case by evidence. This evidence requires proof of an insurance contract, the insurer’s intentional refusal to pay the claim, the absence of any legitimate or arguable reason for the refusal to pay, and the insurer’s a.) knowledge that there was no legitimate or arguable reason for the refusal to pay, or b.) intentional failure to determine whether there was a legitimate or arguable reason.
If you believe you may have a bad faith claim contact the Givens Law Group for a free case evaluation.