You filed a claim with your insurance company after suffering a loss and it is refusing to pay what is owed under your insurance policy – what now? One of your options is to file a Civil Remedy Notice of Insurer Violation, or CRN, with the Department of Financial Services. The CRN serves as notice to the insurance company that a bad faith claim is forthcoming.
The Department of Financial Services explains,
[T]he Civil Remedy Notice is intended for use by parties who are beginning the process of filing suit against an insurer, when a party feels they have been damaged by specific acts of the insurer. The Notice is intended to meet a portion of legal requirements set forth in Section 624.155, Florida Statutes, which requires a party to file Notice with both the insurer and the Department of Financial Services (DFS) at least 60 days prior to bringing an action against the insurer. The DFS does not involve itself in the pre-suit negotiations or communications related to Notices as such actions are not within the scope of its statutory authority.
The Department of Financial Services has provided instructions for completing a CRN and what information is required. A CRN should include the name of the insurance company that the insured claims is in violation of the Florida Statutes. The insurer’s representative(s) that the insured believes is/are responsible for the violation should also be named. Next, the filer should indicate whether the complainant is the insured, a third-party claimant, or a third party. Included in this information should be the name of the complainant, the name of the insured, the policy number, claim number, and the name of the individual filing the CRN. The filer should then check the type of insurance involved, such as homeowners insurance or commercial insurance. If the type of insurance is not listed on the form, the filer should check “Miscellaneous.” Next, the filer should check the reason he or she believes the insurer is in violation, should provide the statutes claimed to have been violated (including the specific language), and should reference the specific policy language relevant to the violation. The filer should note in the CRN if the policy language is not available.
Last, the filer should describe the facts related to the claimed violation. Florida Statute §624.155(3)(b) requires a CRN to, “state with specificity…the facts and circumstances giving rise to the violation.” Florida courts have held that a CRN need not specify a monetary amount required to “cure” the violation.1
A Civil Remedy Notice is a prerequisite to filing a bad faith action after statutory violations have occurred. CRNs give insurance companies an opportunity to resolve a claim before a bad faith lawsuit is filed. More information about the form and filing of Civil Remedy Notices can be found at www.myfloridacfo.com.
1 Hunt v. State Farm Ins. Co., 112 So.3d 547 (Fla. 2d DCA 2013) (“On its face, the statute does not require a specific cure amount. We are hesitant to impose a requirement beyond that directed by the legislature.”).