There are steps an insured or claimant need to take in order to assert a statutory bad faith claim. The first step is the obligatory Civil Remedy Notice. This obligation is set forth in Florida Statute s. 624.155. The Civil Remedy Notice is, in essence, written notice of the specific violation(s) that are being claimed against the insurer that give rise to potential bad faith and an opportunity for the insurer to cure the violation(s). Florida Statute s. 624.155 would not be confused as a model of clarity, so it is important that a insured or claimant work with an attorney regarding any bad faith claim including filling out the Civil Remedy Notice.
In Fox v. Starr Indemnity & Liability Co., 2017 WL 1541294 (M.D.Fla. 2017), an insured sued his property insurer for bad faith. Prior to suing, the insured submitted the required Civil Remedy Notice. However, the insurer moved to dismiss the lawsuit under the argument that the insured did not strictly comply with the statutory requirements based on how the insured filled out the Notice. The insurer argued this because if the Civil Remedy Notice was deficient than the statutory bad faith claim would not be triggered. The Middle District, reviewing this issue, maintained, that substantial compliance with the statutory requirements would suffice. The Middle District was not going to toss out a bad faith claim based on technicalities with how the Civil Remedy Notice was filled out when the insured substantially complied with the intent of the requirements.
Pursuing a bad faith claim against an insurer is not as easy as it may appear. There are steps and requirements that must occur before the bad faith claim can even be pursued. The first step is submitting the Civil Remedy Notice pursuant to Florida Statute s. 624.155. But, this is not the only step. Check out this article for more information on bad faith.
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