An extracontractual claim is one in which the insurance company has potential or alleged liability for more than the limits of policy coverage. These claims result from excess judgment, or allegations that the insurer breached its duty to defend, committed unfair claims and/or settlement practices, as well as institutional “bad faith” and punitive damages. Third-party bad faith claims are based on the alleged breach of a fiduciary duty owed to your insureds.
At Ramey & Kampf, P.A., we have understanding of the inherent conflict that exists in third-party litigation resulting from the insurer’s interests in settling suits and claims versus the insured’s interest. This ever-present conflict has resulted in a substantial increase in allegations that insurers do not take all reasonable and necessary steps to protect the insureds from excess judgments.
First-party claims, once treated as adversarial, now also incorporate the insurer’s fiduciary duties as in a third-party claim. That is, even though your insured is making a claim against you, a fiduciary duty may exist. It is not just a breach of contract claim. As a result, there is an abundance of allegations that the insurer did not properly evaluate or settle a claim and tender funds in a timely if not immediate fashion. Countless claims necessitate immediate attention to ensure that such allegations of first-party bad faith are kept to a minimum.
Our experienced insurance defense lawyers will work with you to balance your fiduciary duty with the adversarial relationship. When necessary, we will defend allegations and suits found in bad faith. Whether we are able to handle these matters through arbitration or mediation proceedings or we need to litigate matters, our team of highly skilled lawyers will always take the course of action that is in your best interests.
Ramey & Kampf, P.A. often serves as presuit counsel to the insurance company in matters involving multiple competing claims, excess exposure or a combination of the two. We provide advice on claims handling and settlement negotiations to help avoid the inherent pitfalls of these situations.
The firm employs a range of informational services that address the needs of insurance professionals, including superintendents, adjusters and risk managers, in the areas of loss prevention, case evaluation, bad faith analysis, insurance coverage, policy interpretations and claims file handling with respect to bodily injury (BI), uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage and personal injury protection (PIP) litigation.
Our attorneys are well-versed in the obligations of the insurer to the insured and have successfully defended insurance companies against allegations of improper fulfillment of the insurer’s fiduciary duties. Our litigation results speak volumes about our tenacity, effectiveness in the courtroom and our commitment to getting results.
Bad faith insurance claims can be incredibly damaging both financially and to an insurer’s reputation. Responding quickly and tactfully requires help from attorneys who know insurance law, how to develop strong defense strategies, have considerable trial experience and have a track record of success inside and outside the courtroom. Our lawyers have decades of experience doing just that, and we pride ourselves on providing exceptional service that’s driven by results.
If you would like to speak with our team of attorneys, contact the Tampa law office of Ramey & Kampf, P.A. today. Contact us online or call 813-241-0123 to get started.