According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), there were 401,867 vehicle crashes in 2019. Car accidents happen every day, but they are not the only type of harmful accident that can occur, from hurricane damage to a burst pipe and many others in between.
If you have coverage, your insurance policy should cover your expenses in many accidents, but some insurance companies try to avoid paying out. They can use a variety of bad faith tactics to keep their costs low, leaving you stuck with the bill.
Glober + Glober works hard to make sure that insurance companies don’t get away with this. We represent clients in Jacksonville and Jacksonville Beach, Florida, along with the neighboring communities of Ponte Vedra Beach, Nocatee, and St. Augustine and throughout the state in personal injury cases and help them fight for what they are owed. Read on to understand what insurance bad faith tactics are so you can find out if they are being used against you.
Lowball First Offer
Your insurance company may offer you a low settlement amount right out of the gate, hoping you will accept the offer without question. The problem is the insurance company doesn't know your cumulative expenses at this stage. If you have suffered injuries, it is important to consider your maximum medical improvement (MMI), or the state at which an injury will no longer get any better, before accepting a settlement offer. Only a physician can determine MMI, so your insurance company should wait to hear from your physician before offering you a settlement.
An insurance company that’s acting in bad faith often will delay again and again. The company may fail to respond to communications and will take longer than necessary to release the information you need, if it releases it at all. Insurance companies may be held liable in court for these bad faith tactics.
Failing to Conduct a Thorough Investigation
It is the insurance company’s responsibility to thoroughly investigate your accident and claim. It is required by law to investigate your claim in a prompt manner. The insurance adjuster should inspect damage in-person and should consider repair estimates before rejecting a claim. If they fail to conduct a thorough investigation, they should be held accountable in the legal system.
Misinterpreting or Inaccurately Representing the Law or Policy
If an insurance adjuster doesn’t accurately represent the law or policy and fails to disclose the existence of coverage that would benefit you, they have engaged in a bad faith tactic. The company may be held responsible for not informing you of coverage you are entitled to.
Refusing to Provide an Adequate Settlement
It is a serious issue, and a bad faith tactic, when an insurance company offers less money than what your claim is truly worth. The insurance company has put its interests above your own and should be held accountable for not providing you with an adequate settlement.
Terminating a Legitimate Claim
The last thing you want to hear is that your claim has been terminated and you will not be receiving any insurance money to cover your expenses. You don’t pay your insurance bill every month to be told that your legitimate claim isn't covered. Terminating a legitimate claim is a bad faith practice that can land an insurance company in court.
Making Threatening Statements
In the most serious scenarios, an insurance company may threaten to take action against you for filing a claim. They may threaten legal action or even criminal charges against you. If this is the case, you need to immediately notify your state insurance board. It’s also important to inform an attorney if you receive these types of threats.
Refusing Routine Requests for Documentation
If you make a typical request for documentation, such as a request for a copy of an insurance policy, and the insurance company fails to deliver what you need, they are being unreasonable. You may be able to hold the insurance company accountable for engaging in this bad faith practice.
What Is Your Attorney’s Role in Dealing with Insurance Companies?
A personal injury lawyer can deal directly with the insurance adjusters so that you do not have to. Further, an injury lawyer can help you understand your rights and potential courses of action. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you fight unfair practices so you can receive an adequate settlement to pay for your damages.
Glober + Glober Can Help You Handle Insurance Companies
Our law firm is here to help Florida residents hold insurance companies accountable. We will use our combined 70 years of experience to help you pursue fair financial compensation from your insurance company.
Our firm works with residents of Jacksonville Beach, Jacksonville, Ponte Vedra Beach, St. Augustine, Nocatee, Duval County, Clay County, Nassau County, Baker County, Union County, Bradford County, St. Johns County, and the entire state of Florida. Contact us today for your free consultation.