Can You Sue an Insurance Company for Taking Too Long Florida?


Dealing with an insurance claim can be a daunting process, especially when an insurance company takes an extended period to settle a claim. In Florida, as in many other states, there are laws and regulations in place to protect policyholders’ rights and ensure that insurance companies act in good faith. When an insurer unreasonably delays or denies a claim, policyholders may wonder if they have the right to take legal action against the insurance company. In this article, we will explore the options available to Florida residents when their insurance company takes too long to handle their claims and whether they can pursue a lawsuit to seek resolution.

The Duty of Good Faith and Fair Dealing

Insurance companies are bound by a legal duty of good faith and fair dealing towards their policyholders. This duty requires insurers to handle claims promptly and efficiently, without any unnecessary delays or unjustified denials. When an insurance company violates this duty by unreasonably prolonging the claims process, policyholders may have grounds to take legal action against the insurer.


Florida’s Bad Faith Insurance Laws

In Florida, as in many other states, there are specific laws that govern bad faith insurance practices. These laws are designed to protect policyholders from unfair treatment by insurance companies and to provide recourse for those who have suffered damages due to an insurer’s bad faith actions. If an insurer’s delay in handling a claim is deemed to be in bad faith, the policyholder may have the right to file a lawsuit against the insurance company.

However, it’s essential to note that not every delay in the claims process constitutes bad faith. Delays may occur due to various reasons, including complex claims, investigations, or a high volume of pending cases. For a lawsuit to be successful, the policyholder must demonstrate that the insurance company’s actions were unreasonable and unjustified, and that they acted in bad faith in handling the claim.


The Role of Florida’s Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR)

Florida’s Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) plays a crucial role in overseeing insurance practices within the state. If you believe that your insurance company is unduly delaying your claim, you may consider filing a complaint with the OIR. While the OIR itself does not have the authority to award damages to policyholders, they can investigate complaints and take appropriate actions against insurers found to be in violation of the law.


When to Seek Legal Counsel

If you are facing prolonged delays in your insurance claim and suspect bad faith on the part of the insurer, it’s essential to seek legal advice promptly. An experienced insurance attorney can assess your case, gather evidence of bad faith, and guide you through the process of filing a lawsuit, if necessary.


Point of Result

While it can be frustrating to experience delays in an insurance claim, not every delay automatically leads to the grounds for a lawsuit. Florida’s bad faith insurance laws are in place to protect policyholders from unfair treatment by insurance companies, but proving bad faith can be a complex process. If you believe that your insurance company is acting in bad faith by taking too long to settle your claim, consult with a knowledgeable insurance attorney to understand your rights and options.

Remember, each case is unique, and the information provided in this article should not be construed as legal advice. If you find yourself in a situation where you believe you have been treated unfairly by an insurance company, seek professional legal guidance to protect your rights and interests.


Reference Links:

Florida Office of Insurance Regulation:

Florida Statutes – Bad Faith Actions:

Florida’s Homeowner Claims Bill of Rights:

The Florida Bar – Insurance Consumer Resources: