This blog follows Florida Statute § 627.70152: Part 1 – A Rushed Mess, to further explore the anticipated disaster as this law continues through its infancy. Here we explore the Notice portion of the law as outlined in Florida Statute § 627.70152(3)(a) and its potential impact on the claim or case.
Florida Statute § 627.70152(3)(a) appears to dictate requirements for a Notice of Intent to Initiate Litigation but also separates out certain requirements for claims “following acts or omissions by the insurer other than denial of coverage” from other claims.
According to Florida Statute § 627.70152(3)(a), all other claims simply require the notice to include those listed under (3)(a)(1) through (3)(a)(4). However, claims “following acts or omissions by the insurer other than denial of coverage” are required to provide a “presuit settlement demand” (3)(a)(5)(a) and a “disputed amount.” (3)(a)(5)(b).
At the outset, a policyholder must ask: Was the claim denied? If the claim was, in any way, denied coverage, if any portion of the claimed damages was not acknowledged as covered by the carrier, the answer is “Yes.”
In this industry, there are terms thrown around, such as “partial coverage” or “below deductible,” when assessing the coverage determination of a claim. However, the legislature thought it best to simply categorize claims in two ways: denied or other than denied. When a carrier affords coverage for a kitchen, but not the adjacent laundry room, which notice applies? When the carrier issues payment for interior damages but denies any aspect of exterior damages, which notice do you file?
So, when looking to provide your presuit notice, you must ask: Did the carrier provide full coverage for the claim? If the answer is “No,” then it appears you are only required to provide the information outlined in (3)(a)(1) through (3)(a)(4).
The type of notice provided also dictates the responses owed by the carrier. If notice is provided in response to a denial of coverage, the carrier’s only options are: accept coverage; continue to deny coverage; or reinspect the property followed by one of the former two options.1 The carrier’s response is different in the event notice is provided for a claim “following acts or omissions by the insurer other than denial of coverage.”
Take care in evaluating the requirements of the new notice as outlined in Florida Statute § 627.70152 as it can have a significant impact on any dispute as it progresses forward.
1 Florida Statute § 627.70152(4)(a).