In Florida, an insured cannot file a bad faith action against his or her carrier without first resolving the underlying claim. Specifically, there needs to be a determination of liability and a determination as to the amount of the loss. This requirement is referred to as the “Favorable Resolution Requirement.” Carriers often argue a judgment must be entered against it before an insured’s bad faith claim is proper and an appraisal award is not an equivalent. Advocates for insureds take the position that if a carrier pays an appraisal award, the underlying issues are resolved. If the carrier acted unfairly towards its insured during the handling of the claim, then a bad faith claim under Florida Statute 624.155 is ripe.
I was the “token” consumer advocate at the Annual Convention of the International Association of Claims Professionals, where Bob Hartwig provided a paced presentation, After the Crisis: Overview & Outlook of the P-C Industry. His presentation is worthy of study and not necessarily because of the factual content. Hartwig is the President of the Insurance Information Institute and a chief propagandist for the insurance industry’s efforts to reduce consumer protection and allow insurers to wrongly delay or deny claims without accountability…
Continue Reading Bob Hartwig Speaks Before the International Association of Claims Professionals
The Florida Legislature passed a law in 1982 that provides for a Policyholder Remedy when an insurer fails to act in good faith and causes damage to the policyholder. As a result, insurers could be held accountable to their policyholders under a "good faith" duty and standard of conduct similar to the "good faith" duties other states recognized through judicial common law. The legislation was necessary because conservative Florida judges refused to accept a common law "good faith" standard and the legislature had to step in and do something about the problem of insurer wrongdoing. See Allstate Indemnity Co. v. Ruiz, 899 So. 2d 1121 (Fla. 2005). Why should the largest property insurance company in Florida not have to comply with this law or be held accountable for the damages it causes?