When Is a Condo Association Bad Faith Lawyer Needed?
A woman with an umbrella, signifying how a condo association bad faith lawyer can help secure insurance payments.
When Is a Condo Association Bad Faith Lawyer Needed?

When a condominium (condo) community sustains damage that should be covered under its existing insurance policies, the condo association and its governing board may have a difficult road ahead in recovering the insurance payments that are due. If you think your insurer is trying to dodge or underpay your condo association property damage claim, it is wise to get in touch with a condo association bad faith lawyer who can help you determine what your community is entitled to under the terms of its insurance policy and how to proceed to ensure all losses that should be covered are.

How Can a Condo Association Bad Faith Lawyer Help?

At Ashford DiMartino, we represent policyholders when they have claim disputes with their insurers. We are insurance policyholder attorneys, meaning we legally represent policyholders, such as condo associations, in filing a lawsuit against an insurance company. We also work to negotiate fair claims out of court so that your claim can be more easily resolved without having to go to trial.

When and How to File a Bad Faith Claim

We work in an area of insurance law called bad faith claims. Because your insurance company collects a premium from your condo association, your insurer has a legally recognized duty to act in good faith. This means your insurance company:

  • Must follow up and process claims within a reasonable time period;
  • Must pay claims for all covered losses, as stated on your policy’s declarations page; and
  • Must pay for your actual losses, up to your stated policy coverage limits.

When insurance companies fail to meet these responsibilities, they are said to be acting in bad faith. And when that happens, we work with policyholders like you to either negotiate a fair settlement with your insurer out of court or plead your case in front of a judge or jury, who will decide what payments and other compensation you should receive. You may be entitled to damages for the amount owed under the policy. In some cases, your condo association might also receive consequential damages, like costs incurred because of bad faith, and punitive damages.

A condo association bad faith lawyer at Ashford DiMartino can review your case and help you determine the steps to take. If filing a lawsuit against an insurance company is warranted, we can provide counsel to help you understand how to file a bad faith claim and representation to help you throughout the process.

Filing a Lawsuit Against an Insurance Company: Evidence Is Critical

To file a bad faith lawsuit, you need proof that your condo association has experienced a covered loss, you’ve made reasonable attempts to resolve the claim, and your insurance company isn’t holding up its end of the bargain.

The first piece of evidence you need is a set of detailed photos and videos of the damage to your community. Make sure this evidence is date-stamped, shows the damage in good lighting, and depicts the full extent of the damage that has occurred.

It’s even better if your association prepares for the possibility of a future loss by taking date-stamped photos and videos of your community before disaster strikes. This way, the before and after images of your community can clearly highlight just how extensive the loss is. This evidence can also help justify a higher settlement amount if more expensive materials or construction processes are required to restore the damaged property.

Taking before photos and videos is especially important for condominium associations in an area where natural disasters frequently occur, such as those associations located along the hurricane-prone Florida coastline.

Next, you need records of your attempts to communicate with insurance agents and adjusters. All records, including emails, dates and times of phone calls, quotes from contractors, and other related records, need to be meticulously kept. Save all voicemails from agents and adjusters and keep screenshots of your smartphone’s call log to prove when you have attempted to call your insurer.

It’s a good idea to back up any handwritten records in an electronic format and store them where they can be easily accessed in the future. Remember, since board members typically serve a one-year term at a time, the member who initially reaches out to your insurer about a claim may no longer be serving on the board at the time of litigation. It’s even possible that a board member who assisted with the claim may no longer live in your community by the time your board hires an attorney.

Finally, you need proof that the claim amount you’re seeking is for a covered loss and that the cost of repairs is within your coverage limits. This information can be backed up by having a current copy of your policy declarations page.

Unfortunately, understanding the legal jargon on the declarations page may not be easy, especially if nobody on your board has a background in insurance or law. This is why it’s important to consult with a condo association bad faith lawyer like those at Ashford DiMartino if you think your insurer is in the wrong by denying coverage for a loss or offering you a lowball settlement.

Contact an Experienced Condo Association Bad Faith Lawyer

C. Anthony Ashford and Guy S. DiMartino have the in-depth understanding of insurance policies and related laws that are required to effectively handle condo association property damage claims and lawsuits. To discuss your specific situation and how to file a bad faith claim, contact a condo association bad faith lawyer at Ashford DiMartino as soon as possible by calling (219) 728-5210 or completing this online contact form.