What can I do to protect my rights?
If you think you are being mishandled by an insurance company, here are some tips you can use to advocate on your behalf:
Mention the term “bad faith” to your adjuster to show them that you know the laws and the duties they owe to you. Hopefully, this makes them act correctly.
If this doesn’t work, you can file a Civil Remedy Notice of Insurer Violation with the Department of Financial Services, Insurance Division. This will give the insurance carrier 60 days to pay the claim and correct all the violations. You are giving them a chance to do the right thing.
Another option for dealing with bad faith insurance claims is contacting the Department of Financial Services and making a “DFS Complaint”. This will prompt a review of your claim by the management of the insurance carrier. This will not give you any substantive legal rights, but can get the claim moving.
Document your claim by hiring experts, getting estimates, taking photos and making lists. The best defense is sometimes a great offense. Taking charge of your own claim to show the insurance company how much money it will take to repair your property is invaluable. If you are unsure of the extent of repairs needed, please reach out to a claims professional like a public adjuster to guide you, and document your claim in the form of estimates, photos, and reports.
Request a complete copy of your policy (a policy can be 50-100 pages).
Gather and save all letters sent to you from the carrier, and keep notes and a timeline of your interactions with them. Save all email communication as well. This is useful later when the carrier claims they never received documents from you and prevents them from blaming you for the delays.
ROSS LEGAL GROUP
1800 Second Street Suite 765 – Sarasota, FL – 34236