It may depend… At least that is the short and simple answer. We constantly deal with people from different states who may have contacts all over the country, properties in various places, insurance agents in different states and receive policies of insurance in various places from insurance carriers located anywhere in the world. Sometimes questions may arise about which State law will apply to a particular insurance dispute. This is often referred to as a choice-of-law rule.
There can be a number of different factors affecting a court’s consideration of which state law will apply to an insurance dispute. Things to consider will be: where the insured is domiciled; where the property is located; where the policy was procured; where it was executed; where it was delivered; and what riders specific to what state law are contained within it.
Florida conflict of law rules dictate that courts should apply lex loci contractus, which is a fancy legal Latin term meaning the law of the state where the contract was made.
Florida conflict of laws rules generally say that procedural issues are controlled by the law of the forum where filed, substantive insurance issues of coverage may be governed by the state where it is determined that the contract was made, or the locus contractus.
The place where the contract was made sounds straight forward enough but as we know, things in life are often never that simple and that can be the case here too. But does the place where the contract is made mean where the insured signs the application or where the insurance company representative signs the policy and delivers it to a broker?
This will be a topic we will explore more in my next post, but in the meantime, I am curious to know your initial thoughts on this.