Pensacola Insurance Dispute Lawyer
Claims adjuster turned lawyer fighting for Florida policyholders
A lawyer who was also a commissioned Officer in the U.S. Army, and a claims adjuster with 8 insurance designations including the prestigious CPCU, Gene Warhurst is a champion for insureds who have been mistreated by insurance companies. Attorney Warhurst provides aggressive representation for clients who are facing insurance disputes for homeowners’ insurance claims, commercial business interruption, fire insurance claims, car, truck or motorcycle accident claims and all areas of personal injury claims.
If you try to pursue a disputed claim on your own, you will likely to be left feeling frustrated and confused and walking away with much less than you might have received had you been armed with the right representation. We can never make promises about how much we will be able to recover for you, but our record of settlements and verdicts which goes back 20 years speaks volumes about what Gene Warhurst has been able to do to help policyholders get what is due to them. Insurance companies draw you in with warm feelings of security and protection, but then those same outstretched hands quickly turn insureds away or leave them with denied claims, lowball settlements and with property that has been destroyed beyond repair.
As an experienced Pensacola insurance dispute attorney, Gene Warhurst will review your claim and determine if you might be owed more money according to your policy. We are here to support clients in resolving insurance disputes. Schedule a free consultation today.
What types of insurance disputes doe Warhurst Law handle?
Sometimes, policyholders face unfair treatment from the insurance company they trusted to protect them. In some cases, an insured may have paid decades of premiums only to face a denial in their time of need. Warhurst Law is here to be your advocate in the following types of insurance dispute cases:
- Fires. After a fire, it is vital that you submit your fire insurance claim right away. You must complete and submit a “proof of loss” form, where you will list the items you lost in the fire and the value of each item. Keep copies of everything you send to the insurance companies, and keep track of the calls, letters and email correspondence regarding your case.
- Hurricanes that have made landfall in Florida have destroyed the homes and businesses in their path. The recent Hurricane Michael, which devastated some cities and towns and spared others required thousands of families and business owners to file claims for property damage. Getting so many claims for the same natural disaster can cripple all but the biggest insurance companies causing them to cut corners and deny claims whenever they think they can get away with it.
- Floods. Many Florida residents have flood insurance through the federal government’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which can help repair your home and replace damaged personal belongings after a flood.
- Tornados. Policy genius reports that about 1,000 tornados touch down in the U.S. each year causing billions of dollars in damage. In May 2019, the national weather service reported more than 500 tornadoes in a 30-day period. Many homeowners’ insurance policies cover damaged caused by a tornado.
- Condominium claims including owners and HOAs. Florida Statute 718.111(11) is the statute covering the insurance requirements for both individual condominium owners and homeowners’ associations which includes enough insurance to cover the “replacement cost of the insured property as determined at least once every 36 months.” Condominium association representatives are welcome to schedule a consultation with Warhurst Law to discuss any dispute they may be facing with their insurance company.
- Commercial/business loss claims. If you are a business owner facing a legal challenge regarding an insurance claim, you can trust Warhurst Law to represent your interests when you are dealing with an insurance company’s failure to pay a claim, bad faith disputes, or denial of a covered claim.
- Bad faith claims. Under Florida law, insurance companies have a legal obligation to honor the terms of their policies. When an insurer denies a legitimate claim, and forces the insured to jump through hoops that cost them time, money and frustration, it buys the company a longer period of time before they must pay that claim. If your insurance company is paying your claim too slowly, denying your claim, offering an insulting, lowball settlement amount, they may be operating in bad faith, which creates a cause of action for a bad faith claim.
If you are successful in proving that the insurance company was indeed operating in bad faith, you may be able to recover damages, which includes legal and court fees, and compensatory damages. In some cases, punitive damages might also be appropriate.
How is insurance bad faith defined in Florida law?
An interim report on insurance bad faith published by the Florida state senate said, “Florida courts for many years have recognized an additional duty that does not arise directly from the contract, the common law duty of good faith on the part of an insurer to the insured in negotiating settlements with third-party claimants. Additionally, a Florida statute, enacted in 1982, recognizes a claim for bad faith against an insurer not only in the instance of settlement negotiations with a third party, but also for an insured seeking payment from his or her own insurance company. Florida Statute 624.155 describes insurance bad faith as, “Not attempting in good faith to settle claims when, under all the circumstances, it could and should have done so, had it acted fairly and honestly toward its insured and with due regard for her or his interests.”
Examples of actions that could be considered evidence of bad faith
You purchased and faithfully paid for insurance so that in your time of need, you would be protected from financial ruin. When the insurance company fails to uphold their end of the contract, and you are forced to go through their lengthy and complicated appeals process, it is costing you dearly in time, the money you must now spend for alternative housing, and the frustration that comes from fighting for what is due to you according to a contract.
- Insurance bad faith might look like the following actions:
- Failure to investigate a claim promptly
- Denying a legitimate claim for losses
- Deliberate delay in paying a claim
- Refusing to settle a claim
- Offering a very low settlement
- Failure to reimburse the policyholder for their loss
Your insurance company, which agreed to protect you suddenly feels like your adversary. It has a team of lawyers protecting their interests and doing everything they can to make sure that you receive as little as possible. Why now get your own legal team who will protect your rights and fight for the fair compensation owed to you?
Whether you are an individual homeowner whose claim for storm damage has been denied, a business owner dealing with a claim dispute after a fire gutted your building, or anyone else trying to wade through the red tape of filing an appeal and negotiating with your insurance company, you might consider the benefits of working with a knowledgeable Pensacola insurance dispute lawyer from Warhurst Law rather than trying to do it yourself.
If you are facing a bad faith insurance dispute call Warhurst Law today
If your insurance company has denied your claim, and you are exhausted from the ordeal of trying to work with the company on your own, consider hiring a Pensacola insurance dispute attorney from Warhurst Law. You may schedule a consultation by calling 251-207-1296 or filling out our contact form. Our office is in Mobile, Alabama but we serve clients all over the South including, the Gulf Coast, and the Florida cities of Pensacola, Destin and Apalachicola
* Warhurst Law cannot and does not guarantee an outcome to any case. Results are indicative of previous claims, and are not a guarantee about future claims.