Arguments are currently being heard by the Florida Supreme Court on the issue of whether Citizens Insurance should be granted certain legal immunities. It has been a long standing rule in this state that Citizens is immune from bad faith lawsuits. Bad faith damages occur after an insurance company is ordered to pay damages in excess of the policy due to some wrongful denial or treatment of the insureds. Bad faith claims are very difficult to pursue in this state due to many legal hoops that must be jumped through but for Citizens, it has been impossible. Yes, this does mean on the face of it all that Citizens does not have to play by the same rules as other “private” insurance companies do. There are statutes here in Florida that dictate and mandate how insurance companies must treat their insureds during a claims process. Generally these rules involve fair dealing, timely processing and This game will amaze you in many different ways and it is definitely one of the more impressive frequent and clear communications as well as paying claims timely when they should have. Citizens does not necessarily have to play by these rules if they are immune to being sued for bad faith damages.
There has been a slight shift in the past several years where some courts have hinted that it is not fair that Citizens, being the largest insurer in the state, can hide behind this immunity to treat insureds unfairly with no fear of repercussion. This issue has now finally come to a head in the Supreme Court. The lawyers for Citizens have argued that Citizens is funded by the state and by taxpayers money and that money should be devoted to paying claims and not lawyers and lawsuits.
So far, in limited arguments, the Supreme Court Justices seems to not be buying those arguments. We”ll keep you updated as a decision is expected in the next several weeks.