Tampa, Fla.—Phelps Partner Patricia McLean and Associate Justin Shindore recently shared insight with Law360 on the Florida Supreme Court ruling that reinstated a $9.2 Million verdict against the GEICO insurance company.
As an attorney that represents insurance companies Patricia believes, “this decision serves as a warning for carriers to meticulously document each step they take in handling a claim. Here, GEICO’s adjuster lacked contemporaneous notes of some crucial communications with Harvey and the Potts estate, according to the opinion.”
“It is incredibly important for an insurer to document all the steps taken to fulfill its duties to the insured, not just in claim notes but in written communications to the insured. Florida is fraught with pitfalls and the potential for bad faith liability every step of the way," said Patricia.
Additionally, Justin commented, "I can definitely see this loosening the bad faith standard in Florida. The majority is clear that this doesn't create a negligence standard, but this opinion should give insurers pause because negligence will certainly be relevant to a consideration of whether they acted in bad faith or not.”
To view the full Law360 article, click here.