When a client grants an agent the power to make financial decisions on behalf of that client, the agent has what is known as a “fiduciary duty” to the client. A fiduciary duty implies that the agent must act in the best interest of the client, even if those actions may hurt the agent. When an agent acts against the best interests of the client, the agent has committed a breach of fiduciary duty. The attorneys at the Amaro Law Firm have extensive experience in handling breach of fiduciary duty cases for our clients.
Breach of Fiduciary Duty – Premiums
A major breach of fiduciary duty can occur when insurance agents fail to account for a policy holder’s premium payments. If an agent commingles a customer’s premium payments with either business or personal accounts, this can constitute a breach of fiduciary duty. Commingling of funds makes it difficult to determine which funds went toward the customer’s premiums and which were spent on the agent’s business expenses or personal spending.
Breach of Fiduciary Duty – Full Disclosure
Agents must also disclose any exceptions to a policy holder’s coverage. Failure to disclose pertinent information regarding insurance coverage can be interpreted as a breach of fiduciary duty. Such failures can show that the agent was not acting in the best interest of the policy holder. For instance, an insurance agent sells a homeowners insurance policy to a client, but fails to tell them that the policy will not cover flood, wind or hail damage. If the client makes a claim after such damage, and learns that the agent failed to disclose these exceptions, the client can file a breach of fiduciary duty lawsuit against the agent.
Breach of Fiduciary Duty – Targeting Customers
Since many insurance agents work on commission, they may be tempted to target high-risk clients for high-premium policies. These customers may also be at risk of having their claims denied or underpaid due to their high-risk status. Agents who attempt to sell such policies can be sued for breach of fiduciary duty. Such behavior reflects that the agent is acting in his own best interests, not those of his clients. The insurer can also target the agent with a breach of fiduciary duty lawsuit, as his actions could cost the carrier in high-risk claims payments.
Breach of Fiduciary Duty – Lawsuit Awards
Agents who commit a breach of fiduciary duty place their clients at serious risk. The attorneys at the Amaro Law Firm recognize the serious nature of a breach of fiduciary duty. Plaintiffs who file lawsuits against agents can be entitled to cash awards, including:
- Insurance payment rebates
- Monetary damages
- Punitive damages
- Pain and suffering
- … and much more.
Know Your Rights in a Breach of Fiduciary Duty Lawsuit
To find out how we can help you with a breach of fiduciary duty lawsuit, contact us today at (713) 352-7975. Our friendly staff will ask a few questions about your case and connect you to an attorney who specializes in breach of fiduciary duty cases. You can also fill out the “Free Case Evaluation” form at the top of this page.