Another Insurance Company Protection!
Did you know that insurance companies have yet another weapon in their arsenal to act without consequences for their actions?
Florida law grants insurance companies this right under a statute commonly known as the non-joinder statute, § 627.4136. This statute is being interpreted to prohibit suits against insurance companies directly when their insured has injured someone or caused a loss, even if there is a basis for a breach of contract against the insurer.
Assume the insurance adjuster meets with you and promises to pay you $5,000 to resolve your claim. (Meeting with injured parties is something they do hundreds and thousands of times per day and trying to resolve claims is their JOB).
You agree to settle for $5,000 and tell them to send the check. They never do. You call to inquire and they say they never said that, no deal. The insurance company cannot be sued directly for their breach of contract with you in this case under the non-joinder statute. This means they act with immunity for their actions in this case.
The insurance company can promise the injury victim, whose interest is completely OPPOSITE of the insurance company, anything they want and use those promises to gather whatever information they want on the promise of a resolution of the case. Then they can do an about face with absolutely no legal liability at all.
This is one more reason why talking to the insurance company without an attorney who is representing your best interest can be dangerous to your legal health. See Hazen v. Allstate Ins. Co., 952 So. 2d 531 (Fla. 2d DCA 2007).