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What bad faith tactics might your insurance use against you?

If you get into a car accident, you exchange information with the other driver, contact law enforcement and call your insurance company. After the investigation, your insurer issues you a check for the damage. It really should be that simple, shouldn’t it? Unfortunately for you and many other Florida residents, it isn’t always that easy to get compensation from insurers.

While it’s an insurance company’s job to compensate victims for their medical and property damages, ultimately these companies are in the business to make money. It’s not uncommon for an insurer to drag its feet in paying on a claim or to try any avenue it can take to avoid paying. Your insurance company may wait as long as legally possible to investigate your claim, or it could outright violate the terms of your policy. Unfair, dishonest and illegal practices to keep from paying are known as insurance bad faith.

The following tactics are common ones that your insurance company or the other party’s insurer may use to avoid compensating you:

  • Denying your claim without conducting a full investigation of the incident
  • Failing to notify you of filing deadlines or to provide you with the paperwork required to file a claim
  • Taking unreasonably long to investigate your claim or pay compensation, or outright refusing to compensate you for a valid claim
  • Threatening to take legal action against you if you file a claim, or falsely stating that law enforcement will arrest you
  • Offering less money than your damages are worth, despite your policy allowing for more

Florida is a no-fault state when it comes to medical expenses, meaning that after an accident in which you sustained an injury, you should contact your own insurer first, regardless of who caused the accident. The law requires your insurance company to investigate and settle claims in good faith. If an insurer refuses to uphold its end of the policy agreement, you may need to seek legal counsel.

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