An Insurance Company's Duty to Disclose
Posted By Robert Sparks || Jul 12, 2012
When involved in a Florida personal injury claim, or related third party claim, Florida law dictates that insurance companies have a duty to provide insurance disclosures. Reviewing and analyzing these disclosures are not only necessary for advancing a personal injury or third party claim but also in the context of examining whether a second bad faith action is available.
Florida Statute 627.4137 governs the insurer’s insurance disclosure information and provides in part that:
(1) Each insurer which does or may provide liability insurance coverage to pay all or a portion of any claim which might be made shall provide, within 30 days of the written request of the claimant, a statement, under oath, or a corporate officer or the insurer’s claims manager or superintendent setting forth the following information with regard to each known policy or insurance, including excess or umbrella insurance:
- The name of the insurer
- The name of each insured
- The limits of liability coverage
- A statement of any policy or coverage defense which such insurer reasonably believes is available to such insurer at the time of filing such statement
- A copy of the policy
Additionally the statute provides that the insured upon written request of the claimant or the claimant’s attorney, shall disclose the name and coverage of each known insurer to the claimant and shall forward such request for information as required by this subsection to all affected insurers. This information is due within 30 days of the receipt of the request.
The above information allows a plaintiff/claimant an opportunity to review insurance disclosures in order to assess what insurance coverage is available to cover the damages sustained. It is important for each Plaintiff attorney to make a thorough request and examine the disclosure carefully.
In the event the insurance company or responding party fails to make accurate and complete disclosure then they may be exposed to a bad faith case. Thus, the Plaintiff attorney not only has an obligation to analyze the disclosure for coverage issues but has an obligation to address whether a bad faith claim may exist based on the insurer’s failure to comply with Florida Statute Section 627.4137.