Florida has an unusual statute on damages for bad faith handling of an uninsured or underinsured motorist (UM and/or UIM) claim, and it has raised questions as to how those damages are to be determined. Federal district courts have disagreed on this, and a now pending appeal should produce guidance, possibly from the Florida Supreme Court.
Liability on a UM/UIM claim (under Florida law, UM includes both) is determined in an action regarding the liability of the uninsured or underinsured tortfeasor, to which the insurer is joined as a party. If the liability verdict exceeds the total available insurance, the judgment against the UM/UIM insurer is only for its applicable limit, not for the higher amount needed to fully compensate the injured insured. Any bad faith claim regarding handling of the UM/UIM claim must be separately litigated after the underlying personal injury claim has been finally resolved. Blanchard v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co.,575 So. 2d 1289, 1291 (Fla. 1991).