For better or worse, Florida has always had hurricanes. It is considered second nature to take steps to protect your property and your life, most often with insurance policies. However, sometimes the insurance company will not pay, or will not pay enough. After a hurricane, the last thing you need is an insurance dispute. If your insurer decides to dig in its heels, you need a Miami hurricane insurance lawyer on your side to help you fight for what you are owed.
An insurance policy is a contract. An insurance company that does not honor the terms of that contract is in breach. The term used for when an insurance company breaches the terms of their own policy is ‘bad faith,’ and more specifically, ‘first party bad faith.’ Florida codifies the law on first party bad faith issues in section 624.155 of the Florida Statutes; while other states recognize a common law cause of action for a breach of the “duty of good faith and fair dealing,” Florida residents must follow the steps in the statute.
The statutory standard is laid out in the jury instructions given at the close of a civil trial. An insured has a valid claim of bad faith when an insurance company fails to settle a claim, when, if it had been acting in a fair and honest manner, it ought to have settled. This is the standard that must be proven in court.