(a) A liability insurer may be subject to enhanced enforcement penalties if the office reviews the insurer’s claims-handling practices and finds a pattern or practice of the insurer failing to do the following when responding to covered liability claims under an insurance policy, after receiving actual notice of such claims:
1. Assign a licensed and appointed insurance adjuster to investigate whether coverage is provided under the policy and diligently attempt to resolve any questions concerning the extent of the insured’s coverage.
2. Evaluate the claim fairly, honestly, and with due regard for the interests of the insured based on available information.
3. Request from the insured or claimant additional relevant information the insurer reasonably deems necessary to evaluate whether to settle a claim.
4. Conduct all oral and written communications with the insured with honesty and candor.
5. Make reasonable efforts to explain to persons not represented by counsel matters requiring expertise beyond the level normally expected of a layperson with no training in insurance or claims-handling issues.
6. Retain all written and recorded communications and create and retain a summary of all verbal communications in a reasonable manner for a period of not less than 2 years after the later of the entry of a final judgment against the insured in excess of policy limits or, if an extracontractual claim is made, the conclusion of that claim and any related appeals.
7. Within 30 days after a request, provide the insured with all communications related to the insurer’s handling of the claim which are not privileged as to the insured.
8. Provide, upon request and at the insurer’s expense, reasonable accommodations necessary to communicate effectively with an insured covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
9. When handling a third-party claim, communicate each of the following to the insured:
a. The identity of any other person or entity the insurer has reason to believe may be liable.
b. The insurer’s final and completed estimate of the claim.
c. The possibility of an excess judgment.
d. The insured’s right to secure personal counsel at his or her own expense.
e. That the insured should cooperate with the insurer, including providing information required by the insurer because of a settlement opportunity or in accordance with the policy.
f. Any formal settlement demands or offers to settle by the claimant and any offers to settle on behalf of the insured.
10. Respond to any request for insurance information in compliance with s. 626.9372 or s. 627.4137, as applicable.
11. Seek to obtain a general release of each insured in making any settlement offer to a third-party claimant.
12. Take reasonable measures to preserve any documentary, photographic, and forensic evidence as needed for the defense of the liability claim if it appears likely that the insured’s liability exposure is greater than policy limits and the insurer fails to secure a general release in favor of the insured.
13. Comply with subsections (1) and (2), if applicable.
14. Comply with the Unfair Insurance Trade Practices Act.
(c) In reviewing claims-handling practices, it is relevant whether the insured, claimant, and any representative of the insured or claimant were acting reasonably toward the insurer in furnishing information regarding the claim, in making demands of the insurer, in setting deadlines, and in attempting to settle the claim. Such matters include whether: 1. The insured cooperated with the insurer in the defense of the claim and in making settlements by taking reasonable actions requested by the claimant or required by the policy which are necessary to assist the insurer in settling a covered claim, including:
a. Executing affidavits regarding the facts within the insured’s knowledge regarding the covered loss; and
b. Providing documents, including, if reasonably necessary to settle a covered claim valued in excess of policy limits and upon the request of the claimant, a summary of the insured’s assets, liabilities, obligations, and other insurance policies that may provide coverage for the claim and the name and contact information of the insured’s employer when the insured is a natural person who was acting in the course and scope of employment when the incident giving rise to the claim occurred.
2. The claimant and any claimant’s representative:
a. Acted honestly in furnishing information regarding the claim;
b. Acted reasonably in setting deadlines; and
c. Refrained from taking actions that may be reasonably expected to prevent an insurer from accepting the settlement demand, such as providing insufficient detail within the demand, providing unreasonable deadlines for acceptance of the demand, or including unreasonable conditions to settlement.