Insurance Broker Negligence
Incompetence, errors, and omissions on the part of your insurance broker can be financially catastrophic for you when it is time to file a claim. Mistakes, deliberate or to make a sale, may have put you at risk. If you have experienced an economic loss due to negligence on the part of your insurance agent, reach out to Dawson & Rosenthal and speak with a lawyer specializing in insurance bad faith.
What is an Insurance Broker?
An insurance broker is sometimes called an insurance agent or an insurance producer. Their business sells insurance to consumers, and they are considered experts in the field. Being authorized to sell insurance means that they understand the industry and are aware of what it takes to pair their customers with the correct policies to meet their individual needs.
Insurance brokers act as advisors because of their expertise in the field. Their clients look to them for insight and advice when choosing a policy to protect them. The broker is responsible for properly representing the products they offer to their buyers.
Examples of Insurance Broker Negligence
Insurance brokers can behave negligently in a number of ways. Some of these include the following:
- If you ask for a particular coverage and your insurance broker fails to enroll you in it or inform you of what your policy actually covers, it can be considered negligence.
- When an insurance broker fails to ensure that your insurance documents are properly completed, the insurer may be able to deny your claim based on application errors.
- When describing your condition when applying for insurance, if the insurance agent misinterprets the information, it could be rejected if you need to file an insurance claim.
- Your claim could be denied if your insurance agent disregards his duty to alert the insurance company of your claim by the allotted deadline.
- It is your insurance broker’s job to alert you of a policy termination or if monetary matters might impede your ability to fulfill a potential claim.
The insurance business is intentionally confusing for policyholders. Insurance agents are supposed to be equipped with the necessary information to guide their clients through the process of procuring insurance that meets their needs. Customers rely on their insurance brokers for aid if the time ever comes that they must file a claim.
Proving Insurance Broker Negligence
If you believe your insurance broker’s negligence caused you harm, speaking to an insurance broker negligence lawyer is in your best interest. Ordinarily, a successful negligence claim requires four distinct components.
1. The Insurance Broker Owed a Standard of Care
The law requires that insurance brokers be truthful when selling an insurance policy. Products must be presented accurately. The agent should be truthful and not exaggerate or embellish the policy’s features. They should not hide, downplay or neglect to disclose a feature that might cause the client not to purchase the policy.
If the agent failed to perform due care as described above, you might be eligible to sue for negligence. You could be entitled to compensation, while the agent may have their license revoked due to their malpractice.
2. The Agent’s Actions Breach the Standard of Care
Following establishing a duty of care, the next step is determining the amount of care the insurance broker owes. When the insurance agent acts as an advisor, possessing special knowledge, the client assumes they are acting as a trusted authority.
Though optional policy additions are not required for the insurance agent to offer, they must prove that they provided information about the adequacy of their policy. The insured’s understanding of the appropriateness of their policy rests on the insurance broker’s full disclosure.
3. Breach Caused Injury to the Insured
In proving the negligence of an insurance broker, one must prove causation. The breach of the standard of care they owed you caused harm to you and needs to be shown to prove your case. This could be if a fire ravaged your house and you were not informed that your insurance would not cover such an event.
Being without money to cover the cost of rebuilding your home because your insurance broker led you to believe you had a policy that would encompass such damages is an example of an injury sustained due to a breach of care.
4. The Insured Party Sustained Actual Damages
The last element that must be shown when proving that your insurance broker acted negligently is proof that you sustained actual damages. Actual damages include loss of income, medical bills, property repair costs, property damage, business losses, or legal fees. Being able to prove such damages is imperative to round out the four elements that must be shown to prove insurance broker negligence.
When you speak to your insurance broker negligence lawyer, be ready to present the receipts and notes about the damages you have withstood due to your insurance agent’s misconduct.
Proving Insurance Broker Negligence May Require Expert Testimony
The courts, in Arizona in particular, have frequently looked to expert testimony to prove that the insurance broker’s behavior breached the standard of care in question. Your insurance broker negligence lawyer will have the resources to call on industry professionals to testify about how the insurance broker’s practices and procedures failed to meet the industry standards.
Help When You are Harmed by Broker Negligence or Fraud
It can be overwhelming if you have suffered damages due to the negligent conduct of your insurance broker, agent, or underwriter. Insurance companies have attorneys on staff to tackle cases like yours. You can confidently move forward with your lawsuit by reaching out to the insurance broker negligence attorneys with Dawson & Rosenthal in San Diego.
Contact us if your insurance broker’s misconduct has left you wondering what your next steps should be. Our team understands your frustration and is ready to work with you to achieve the most beneficial resolution. We will tap into all of the resources at our disposal to ensure the court understands the compelling nature of your case.