Insurance Practices & Coverage Litigation
Insurance policies are complex, lengthy and highly technical documents. Determining whether a particular claim is covered or handled appropriately takes skill and experience in the analysis of the insurance contract and the underlying facts surrounding the claim. With over 100 years of combined experience handling business and commercial litigation in Florida, the attorneys at Schwed Kahle & Kress have the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to provide sound advice and effective representation in the resolution of good faith insurance coverage disputes or allegations of insurance bad faith.
Insurance Coverage Disputes
Insurers owe a duty to their insureds to pay valid claims in a timely manner, but carriers have a duty as well to their shareholders to operate with efficiency and return profits. It is reasonable to expect an insurance company to investigate a claim before paying benefits; it is unreasonable for the company to take these actions with the sole intent to deny coverage. A typical claims investigation will inquire into the following:
- Is the policyholder current on premiums?
- Did the insured provide timely notice of the claim?
- Did the insured provide proof of loss as required by the policy?
- Does the policy coverage apply to the facts of the claim in question?
Insurers can face extra-contractual liability beyond policy limits for refusing to accept a reasonable demand to settle within policy limits, or failing to settle when liability is clear, if the case is later lost at trial. Schwed Kahle & Kress can help by issuing opinion letters and advising clients on potential liability exposure, loss mitigation and risk management strategies. The firm’s attorneys can seek a declaratory judgment regarding whether coverage exists, and/or litigate the matter under a reservation of rights.
Insurance Bad Faith
Every insurance contract contains an implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and insurers can be held liable for actions deemed in bad faith. Proving motive one way or the other can be an extremely challenging aspect of insurance bad faith litigation. Reasonableness is key, and whether a particular action taken was reasonable or not may depend upon the totality of the circumstances surrounding the claim. Insurers are frequently taken to court for bad faith claims based on the following:
- Denial or disclaimer of coverage
- Delay in processing claim
- Failing to investigate claim
- Making a “lowball” settlement offer
- Refusing to settle a third-party claim within policy limits
- Failing to defend against third party claim
- Canceling or rescinding a policy
Contact Schwed Kahle & Kress Attorneys for Help with Florida Insurance Litigation
For help with Insurance practices and coverage litigation in the state of Florida, contact Schwed Kahle & Kress in Palm Beach Gardens and various offices statewide to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced Florida insurance law attorney.