Prior to Filing a Bad Faith Action against a First-Party Insurance Carrier…

Prior to filing a bad faith action against a first party property insurance carrier (e.g., property insurance policy such as a homeowners policy) you need to fie a Civil Remedy Notice in accordance with Florida Statute s. 624.155. In the Civil Remedy Notice you set forth the statutory violations of the insurer and give the insurer an opportunity (60 days) to cure those violations. In addition, a bad-faith action is premature until there is a determination of coverage under the policy (liability) and extent of covered damages.   A determination of coverage and covered damages does not need to come through an adjudication at trial. Such determination can be arrived at through a settlement, a stipulation, an arbitration order, or through an insurer accepting a proposal for settlement, even if the determination is less than the amount the insured originally demanded or less than the policy limits. (This article explains.) This determination is beneficial to an insured, and not an insurer, as it allows an insured that previously served a Civil Remedy Notice to argue bad faith even if there is a settlement where the insured did not release the insurer of any potential bad faith claim.

Please contact David Adelstein at dadelstein@gmail.com or (954) 361-4720 if you have questions or would like more information regarding this article. You can follow David Adelstein on Twitter @DavidAdelstein1.

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