This text continues an article begun right here on July 3, 2023.
(Picture by Dennis Wall)
An additional query which this new statute raises considerations the query of legal responsibility for unhealthy religion by legal responsibility insurance coverage corporations in Florida usually.
This new statute is a part of a Unhealthy Religion Statute that applies to “any particular person … broken” by sure alleged conduct of an insurance coverage firm. Nevertheless, regardless of its fashionable identify, the so-called Unhealthy Religion Statute, Fla. Stat. § 624.155, just isn’t triggered by unhealthy religion however by alleged violations of specified statutes and actions.
Actually, the time period “unhealthy religion” was by no means earlier than used within the statute, though it did check with “good religion” one time in its description of an insurance coverage firm’s actions.
This new, 2023 Part 624.155(4)(a) introduces an idea into third-party unhealthy religion actions of damages lower than coverage limits, or it might make no sense to immunize a legal responsibility insurer from an “motion for unhealthy religion” when it pays lower than coverage limits. (Observe that the statute just isn’t but formally printed at the same time as of at this time. The brand new language is accessible both on an unsecured site as 2023 Florida Session Regulation Ch. 2023-15 which the reader can method at her or his peril, or on a safe supplier comparable to Westlaw or LexisNexis.) The circumstances and statutes collected in DENNIS J. WALL, LITIGATION AND PREVENTION OF INSURER BAD FAITH (West Publishing Firm 3d Version, 2023 Dietary supplements in course of), and in different treatises — together with circumstances and statutes from Florida — set up the broadly held view that there must be no bad-faith when damages are lower than coverage limits. That really appears to have been the universally shared view on this nation, till the enactment of this new Florida Statute in 2023.
So it is a very huge deal certainly.
 See Part 624.155(1): “Any particular person might deliver a civil motion in opposition to an insurer when such particular person is broken[.]”
 See Part 624.155(1)(b)1 (“Not making an attempt in good religion to settle claims when, underneath all of the circumstances, it may and will have accomplished so, had it acted pretty and truthfully towards its insured and with due regard for her or his pursuits”) (emphasis added).
These and comparable points are addressed in 1 DENNIS J. WALL, LITIGATION AND PREVENTION OF INSURER BAD FAITH § 3:28, Authorized Bases of Legal responsibility in Settlement — Statutory (West Publishing Firm 3d Version, 2023 Dietary supplements in course of).
This weblog article ©2023 Dennis J. Wall.