Perfecting a Statutory Bad Faith Claim

If you are having insurance coverage issues or concerns, do yourself a favor and consult with counsel.  Make sure your rights are perfected.

 

A recent Florida appellate case reiterates the requirements to perfect a statutory insurance bad faith claim:

  1. There needs to be a determination regarding the insurer’s liability for coverage;
  2. There needs to be a determination regarding the extent of the insured’s damages; and
  3. The Civil Remedy Notice must be filed pursuant to Florida Statute s. 624.155.

Landers v. State Farm Florida Ins. Co., 42 Fla.L.Weekly D1768b (Fla. 5th DCA 2017).

In this case, the appellate held that an insured under a property insurance policy can file a Civil Remedy Notice before the appraisal process is complete.  This case dealt with a sinkhole claim where there was a dispute regarding the repair protocol (as the repairs exceeded the policy limits). The insured file a Civil Remedy Notice before the appraisal process was complete claiming the insurer was delaying paying the policy limits and low-balling the appropriate repairs and costs. The appraisal process found that the repairs exceeded the insured’s policy limits and the insurer paid the policy limits. The insured thereafter filed a statutory bad faith action claiming the repairs always exceeded the policy limits and the insurer engaged in bad faith by delaying payment until after the conclusion of the appraisal process.   As mentioned, the appellate court held that whether bad faith occurred is a question of fact, however, the insured can file a Civil Remedy Notice before the conclusion of the appraisal process. Plus, as it pertains to a statutory bad faith action, the appraisal process satisfies the first two requirements: 1) the determination regarding the insurer’s liability for coverage and 2) the determination regarding the extent of the insured’s damages.

 

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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