Insurance is a fundamental part of life for policyholders seeking to protect themselves, their assets, their health, and other valuable considerations. However, even if you uphold your end of the bargain by paying your premiums, insurance disputes can arise if the insurer fails to honor the policy terms. While the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation is charged with overseeing insurance companies, filing a complaint with the agency will not always result in enforcement of your right to compensation as a policyholder. It may be necessary to take legal action, and a personal injury lawyer that handles insurance dispute claims in Florida can help.
First Party Claims: Insurance disputes often arise in the context of car accident claims in Florida, when you were injured and must file through your own insurance policy to recover compensation for your losses. The process is called a first party claim because you are seeking compensation from your own insurance company instead. This scenario may occur because:
- You were the victim of a hit and run crash;
- The responsible driver was uninsured; or,
- The responsible motorist carried the minimum statutory amount of coverage, which is not sufficient to compensate you for your losses.
Common Insurance Disputes: When filing a first party claim, you may encounter issues centering on two different types of disputes:
- Coverage Disputes: In this situation, you and your insurance company may differ over the details laid out in the policy terms. Insurers will often try to exploit any ambiguities in the policy language or point to fine print in denying your claim. It is important to understand that you do have rights when a company fails to honor its legal obligations under an insurance policy, including filing a lawsuit
- Bad Faith: Though there are some similarities to coverage disputes, bad faith is a more egregious failure by an insurance company to comply with its legal obligations. This type of dispute may come when an insurance company underestimates the value of your losses for improper or unlawful reasons. Again, a lawsuit may the most effective means of enforcing your rights in a bad faith situation.
Benefits of Retaining an Attorney: Trying to handle an insurance dispute yourself is challenging, as your policy is a legal document that can include some complicated, convoluted language. Plus, you are working with insurance representatives who work for the company and are motivated to protect the company’s bottom line. They do not work for you.
To increase your chances of success in an insurance dispute, you should work with an attorney that has experience in these types of cases. A lawyer knows the laws and can meticulously decipher complex policy language. Plus, if it becomes necessary to file a lawsuit, an attorney can represent your interests and will fight for your rights in court.
Consult with an Insurance Disputes Lawyer Regarding Your Claim
For more information on insurance disputes and how an attorney can help, please contact the Ocala, FL offices of Piccin & Glynn. You can call our firm at 352-558-8480 to set up a free consultation. We are happy to review your circumstances and explain your legal options in an insurance dispute matter.