The House Civil Justice Committee got it right this year when they voted down the “Bad Faith Reform” bill (HB 427)sponsored by Rep. Kathleen Passidomo (R-Naples) 8-7. Three of the 8 “NO” votes were made by Republicans, who were evidently not convinced that doing away with Insurance Bad Faith was “business-friendly” or consumer-friendly, as it was touted.
Rep. Passidomo’s Bill represents the latest attempt by certain members of the Florida legislature to add restrictions to “third party” bad faith claims.
In the State of Florida, every insurance policy vests the right to settle (or not settle) a liability claim with the Carrier. However, if the Carrier decides not to resolve a claim when they can and should, or fails to protect their insured from a verdict in excess of the policy limits, they can be found guilty of “bad faith claims handling”, and forced to pay the judgment, even if it is in excess of policy limits.
If Bad Faith is eliminated or altered, Insurance Companies will still retain the ability to decide when to settle (or not), to the detriment of their insureds, and not be held responsible for their conduct.
Eliminating or modifying Florida’s Bad Faith laws is not “business-friendly” (unless you’re an insurance company). Let your Florida Representatives and Senators know you do not support any change to Florida’s Bad Faith law!
If you have any questions regarding Florida Insurance, Insurance Bad Faith, or Insurance Claims, feel free to contact Lawlor, Winston, White & Murphey at 954-525-2345 or [email protected]