Florida Senate Judiciary Committee Releases Interim Study on Insurance Bad Faith
Nov 16, 2011
The Florida Senate Committee on Judiciary today, November 16, 2011 released Interim Report 2012-132 on Insurance Bad Faith. A brief description of the Report’s intent is reprinted below.
To view the entire Report, click here.
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Florida’s “bad faith” law allows an insured person or someone who has been injured by an insured person to recover damages from an insurer for failing to settle a claim in good faith when the insurer could and should have done so.
Florida has had bad faith remedies in place through the common law and statute for many years, targeted at protecting insurance consumers from unfair practices on the part of insurers. Some experts argue that Florida’s bad faith law is an effective check on insurance companies, which generally have a considerable advantage over insureds in terms of bargaining power.
However, others argue that the current bad faith system has gone beyond leveling the playing field and has created incentives for insureds or injured third parties to use strategies to allege that an insurer acted in bad faith, leaving insurers to navigate unfair, yet legal tactics to convert policy limits into unlimited insurance through the cause of action.
The purpose of this interim report is to review current practices based on the experiences of legal practitioners, insurance companies, and others with expertise in insurance bad faith, as well as case law, statutes, legal scholarship, and data associated with bad faith in Florida and other jurisdictions, in order to give legislators a basis for evaluating what potential changes, if any, are needed to Florida law.
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