Insurance coverage is a vital element in many areas of a person’s life. With so much demand for coverage, the insurance industry collects more than $1 trillion in premiums annually.
Because of this, insurance providers are subject to many different state and federal regulations. These protective statutes allow consumers to have confidence in the insurance companies they work with.
When someone buys an insurance coverage policy, they place their trust in the providing company. But the buyer does not only trust the company. They also place their trust in the insurance agent assigned to oversee their policy.
But when an insurance agent or provider behaves negligently, they can be held accountable.
If you believe that your agent or provider has failed in their duties, you may consider suing an insurance company for negligence. Speaking with a skilled tort attorney will help you determine the best path forward.
The skilled legal experts at Morgan & Morgan have decades of experience representing victims of negligence. You should not have to bear the burden of harms caused by a careless insurance company on your own.
When you need legal representation, reach out to the firm at Morgan & Morgan. Fill out the contact form on our website today.
We will happily arrange a no-obligation, no-cost legal consultation for you!
Claims of Negligence
Tort lawsuits are a type of civil suit through which victims can seek financial compensation for the harms that they suffered. “Negligence” is a common legal concept in tort law.
If you are planning on suing an insurance company for negligence, you will need to provide evidence of their wrongful actions.
The legal standard of “negligence” requires the plaintiff to prove the four following elements:
Duty of Care
Negligence cases rely on a concept known as “duty of care.” When the law recognizes a certain type of relationship between the plaintiff and the defendant, a duty may be owed.
In many cases, a judge will determine whether a duty of care existed between the two parties. However, some relationships are commonly understood to involve a duty of care. For example, drivers have a duty of care to others on the road. Motorists have the duty to drive in a reasonably safe and legal manner. If they fail to do so, they have not lived up to their duty.
Insurance agents and providers have a duty of care to policyholders. They are required to use good judgment, diligence, and reasonable care when providing their customers with certain policies.
In fact, insurance agents are considered to be experts in their field. Because of this, their duty to policyholders may involve an especially high obligation. Different states and localities place specific regulations on insurance agents and companies for this reason.
It is important that insurance agents do their best to provide customers with policies that are well suited to their needs and desires. If you plan on suing an insurance company for negligence, you will need to prove that your provider owed you a duty of care.
Breach of Duty
Simply showing that the other party owed a duty is not enough. Proving negligence also requires the plaintiff to show that the defendant breached their duty of care.
When someone fails to take reasonable care in their actions, they may have breached a duty of care. If a negligence case goes to trial, a jury will typically judge whether the defendant has violated this duty.
In the context of suing an insurance company for negligence, proving breach of duty is crucial. If your agent misled you or omitted important information, they might have breached their duty to you as a customer.
Proving negligence relies on more than only the fact of a breached duty of care. The breach of duty must have also caused damages to the plaintiff.
One of the most relevant types of cause is known as “but-for” causation. This means that the damage to the plaintiff would not have occurred but for the actions of the defendant.
Proximate cause is another type of causation. If the defendant could be expected to have foreseen the harm that their activities would cause, those actions are the proximate cause of the resulting damage.
Insurance agents are expected to thoroughly understand the policies that they offer. If an insurance company provides a policy and does not adequately explain it to the buyer, they may cause harm to that person.
Cause is an important element in any negligence case. If the plaintiff’s harm was caused by some other unrelated factor, they will not have a strong negligence claim.
To file a successful negligence lawsuit, the plaintiff needs to show that the defendant’s actions caused actual harm. It is not enough to argue that certain actions could have resulted in damage. In many negligence cases, damages take the form of a physical personal injury. However, this is rarely the case in lawsuits against insurance providers.
The defendant’s negligent actions must be proven to have resulted in actual harm to the victim. Some common examples of damages in tort cases include:
- Physical harm or injuries
- Property damage
- Lost wages or income
- Medical bills
- Decreased earning capacity
- And more
All four of these elements are required to file a successful negligence lawsuit. This is true whether the defendant is an individual or a careless insurance provider.
If you believe that your insurance company behaved negligently, reach out to the skilled tort attorneys at Morgan & Morgan. We have years of experience taking on big insurance companies.
We know that these corporations do not always operate in the best interests of their policyholders. The team at Morgan & Morgan believes that all victims deserve justice.
Our attorneys will carefully review the facts of your case to determine whether your insurance provider can be held accountable.
Examples of Insurance Provider Negligence
Many different situations may constitute insurance provider negligence. Insurance agents must behave in an honest and forthcoming manner regarding their clients.
The specific regulations that companies must adhere to are determined by state law. In general, agents are expected to:
- Use reasonable care to secure coverage requested by clients
- Notify clients about any policy availability issues
- Appropriately consider the client’s explicitly stated coverage needs
- Explain policies that have been secured for the clients
If your agent has failed to take these reasonable steps, you should consult with an attorney about suing the insurance company for negligence.
Some of the most common examples of insurance agent negligence include:
- Failing to sign clients up for requested coverage options
- Misrepresenting the coverage included in a given policy
- Misleading clients regarding the required application forms
- Failing to notify the insurance company about a claim
- Failing to notify clients of financial issues facing the insurance company
Insurance company representatives must be knowledgeable in their field. They should be able to explain each of their policies clearly. This helps the consumer to make an informed choice regarding their coverage options. Failing to do so is negligent and can lead to significant harm for policyholders.
If you file a claim and are denied, you may find that you are not covered in the way that you believed. When this happens, policyholders can be left with massive amounts of financial loss.
Negligent insurance agents should be held liable for any damage that they cause. Speaking with a skilled personal injury attorney is the surest way to recover compensation for the harms you sustained.
Contact the skilled team at Morgan & Morgan if you are considering suing an insurance company for negligence.
Damages When Suing Insurance Company for Negligence
If you are considering a lawsuit against your insurance company or agent, you may wonder what types of compensation are available. Each case involves unique situational factors.
Because of this, there is no standard amount of financial recovery in insurance negligence cases. Depending on the damages resulting from your provider’s or agent’s negligence, you may be entitled to a large recovery.
For example, plaintiffs may seek the amount that they should have been given in payments or benefits through the insurance provider. However, this is not the only type of damages available to insurance negligence victims.
When pursuing a negligence lawsuit, you may also seek compensation for the emotional distress and inconvenience of being denied. Speaking with an insurance negligence attorney is critical for securing a positive outcome.
It is also vital to read and understand your insurance policy. This will help to avoid a claim of “contributory negligence.”
“Contributory negligence” is the idea that the plaintiff is partially responsible for their own damages. An agent or provider might claim that the policyholder is partially responsible for the harm if they failed to read their policy.
The skilled team at Morgan & Morgan has the skills and resources to effectively fight for you. Do not hesitate to seek justice if you have been harmed by a negligent insurance provider.