If you feel as though your insurance company is acting poorly and unjust, you potential remedy is to a bad faith insurance claim. In order to do so, you must first file a Civil Remedy Notice with both your insurance company the Department of Financial Services. This notice will inform the insurance company that a bad faith is being filed. The Florida Statutes requires you to file a notice at least 60 days before you file your lawsuit against your insurance company.
The reason for the 60-day window is to give your insurance company one more chance to make things right before a bad faith claim is filed against them. This is called the 60-Day Cure Period. If your insurance company continues to act in bad faith and not take the appropriate steps to make things right before the 60-day window closes, you may file your bad faith suit at that time. Insurance companies usually want to avoid having a bad faith case brought to court, so they may take this opportunity to make things right to avoid that.
What to Include
In your notice, you should include the name of your insurance company, as well as the representatives of the insurance company who are directly linked to the bad faith case. The notice should also include who is filing the notice, whether it is you or a third-party filing, along with your name and contact information and your insurance policy number. You also need to include the reason you believe your insurance company is acting in bad faith, referring to the specific points in your policy that you believe them to be in direct violation of.
Legally, under Fla. Stat. 624.155(3)(a)(b), you must include in your notice this information:
1. “The statutory provision, including the specific language of the statute, which the authorized insurer allegedly violated.
2. “The facts and circumstances giving rise to the violation.
3. “The name of any individual involved in the violation.
4. “Reference to specific policy language that is relevant to the violation, if any. If the person bringing the civil action is a third party claimant, she or he shall not be required to reference the specific policy language if the authorized insurer has not provided a copy of the policy to the third party claimant pursuant to written request.
5. “A statement that the notice is given in order to perfect the right to pursue the civil remedy authorized by this section.”
What Happens if You Do Not File a Notice?
If you do not file a Civil Remedy Notice before you file your bad faith lawsuit, the case can be dismissed by a judge since it did not follow the proper steps.
The Florida Legislature passed CS/CS/CS/HB 301 during its 2019 session, which made some changes to the Civil Remedy Notice. The bill has made it so that you cannot file a notice within 60 days of an appraisal that was done on either your side or the insurance company’s side. Previously, people were filing bad faith claims before they had finished determining the scope of the damages through appraisals.
Previously, the Department of Financial Services could return your notice within 20 days of receipt if you did not include all of the required information in it. If they did return the notice, the 60-day timer would reset to when you added the missing information and filed again. Now, they cannot return the notice, but the bill does not explain what exactly will happen if you do not include all of the necessary information in the filing.