Bad Faith Insurance Claims: What are Consequential Damages?
One of the most important things that you should know about property insurance policies is that, at their core, they are simply contracts. You owe certain responsibilities to your insurer and, in return, your insurer owes you. Under the Florida Insurance Code, the company’s primary duties are to handle your property damage claim fairly, investigate it rapidly and pay you proper benefits without any undue delay.
Sadly, the big property insurers do not always live up to their basic legal duties. In fact, in far too many cases, insurance companies act in bad faith, mistreating homeowners. When a company handles your claim in bad faith, they must be held fully accountable. Victims of bad faith insurance practices deserve compensation for their injuries. This includes financial recovery for the full value of your initial property losses and also compensation for any consequential damages.
What are Consequential Damages?
Consequential damages are losses that occurred as a result of the initial contract breach. In a way, they are second level damages, as they are not directly related to the insurance contract. Put another way, in a Florida bad faith property insurance case, a policyholder’s consequential damages are additional expenses incurred because of the insurance company’s improper conduct. Examples of consequential damages in bad faith insurance cases include:
- Interest and finance charges;
- Attorneys’ fees and court costs;
- Adjusting fees and costs;
- Extra expenses incurred; and
- All other losses reasonably foreseeable as a result of the violation.
Consequential Damages Can Be Awarded in Excess of the Policy Limit
In Florida bad faith insurance cases, courts are allowed to award policyholders consequential damages that are in excess of the policy limit that is at question in the case. This was originally established in the 1992 Florida case of McLeod v. Cont’l Insurance, that was eventually superseded by a Florida state statute. The bottom line: Bad faith insurance victims need to be made whole for their losses. This means that you should be put into the same position that you would have been in had no insurance company misconduct ever occurred. If the insurance company caused additional losses, in excess of the policy limit, by not handling the claim appropriately, that insurer must be held responsible for that misconduct.
Contact Our Fort Lauderdale Bad Faith Insurance Lawyers Now
If you believe you were the victim of bad faith insurance settlement practices, you need to take action now. Do not let the insurance company mistreat you and your family. Our top-rated Fort Lauderdale property insurance dispute lawyers can help you recover maximum compensation. Please contact us today for your free initial case evaluation. At Geyer Fuxa Tyler, we serve property owners throughout Broward County, Florida, including in Pompano Beach, Weston, Coral Springs and Margate.