Archives: Florida

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Better Late Than Never? Don’t Think So – Voluntary, Untimely Payment of Benefits Does Not Absolve Carrier from Liability for Bad Faith in Florida

It has been over 30 years since Florida lawmakers enacted section 624.155, which was designed to provide a civil remedy when an insurer fails to settle their policyholder’s claim in good faith or commits any one of the unfair claims handling practices identified in section 626.9541(1)(i). Yet, to this day, questions still arise on one … Continue Reading

Proposed Statutes Regarding Assignment of Insurance Benefits Withdrawn From Consideration By Florida Legislature

A handful of bills regarding proposed statutes concerning assignment of property insurance benefits were withdrawn from both houses of the Florida legislature this month. Each of the proposed laws were directed toward assignments entered into by property owners in exchange for the agreement of the assignee — typically a contractor — to complete the associated … Continue Reading

My Insurance Claim Was Denied Because My Water Leak Lasted Over a Period of 14 Days or More – Was the Denial Proper?

Many property insurance policies have a provision that states something similar to the following: “we do not insure…for loss…caused by…constant or repeated seepage or leakage of water…over a period of 14 or more days.” Insureds may find their claims for water loss under their homeowners’ policy denied on the grounds that the leak was present … Continue Reading

Policyholder Attorneys Beware: Make Sure Your Contingency Fee Multiplier Awards Are Airtight and “Anderson” Proof

Back on November 7 of last year (2017), I wrote about an important opinion in the world of property insurance litigation, Joyce v. Federated National Insurance Company,1 where the Florida Supreme Court reaffirmed that you could still obtain a contingency-fee multiplier where justified under Quanstrom and in so doing reversed the Fifth District Court of … Continue Reading

Court Rejects Jury Instruction Inconsistent with Concurrent Causation Doctrine; Remands for New Trial

In December of 2016, I wrote about Sebo v. American Home Assurance Company,1 where the Florida Supreme Court reversed the appellate court’s adoption of the “Proximate Efficient Cause” doctrine and found that instead, the lower court should have applied the “Concurrent Causation Doctrine,” as laid out in Wallach v. Rosenberg,2 in a situation where both … Continue Reading

Matching Protections for Hurricane Irma Claims in Florida

In 1990, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners adopted a new section to its model regulations relating to unfair property claims.1 Section 9 of the model regulation provides:2 A. When the policy provides for the adjustment and settlement of first-party losses based on replacement cost, the following shall apply: *** (2) When a loss requires … Continue Reading

Florida Valued Policy Law & Hurricane Irma

We recently received a requested blog topic for the following: FL Value Policy Law as it would apply with Hurricane Irma. If we have an insured with a Citizens policy with Cov A limit of $200,000 and our repair estimate is $180,000 should the value policy law be applied? Answer: It depends. (I’m a lawyer, … Continue Reading

Hurricane Irma and Actual Cash Value in Florida

Florida’s Third District of Appeal recently confirmed that insurance carriers are initially obligated to pay the true amount of the actual cash value (“ACV”), not just the insurance company’s estimate of the ACV.1 This obligation exists regardless of whether policyholders intend to use the money to make repairs to their home. The court also confirmed … Continue Reading

Hurricane Irma Closed Claim Statistics Questioned

The Florida Senate Banking and Insurance Committee held a public hearing last Tuesday. The video above is my very brief testimony at the hearing where I questioned the Hurricane Irma Closed Claim statistics provided by Florida’s Insurance Commissioner, David Altmaier. The Commissioner was a math teacher before joining the Office of Insurance Regulation. I have … Continue Reading

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma Produced Tornados and Tornadic Activity Across Texas and Florida

With the devastating strength and power these hurricanes were bringing, the last thing on anyone’s mind was these hurricanes throwing additional blows to areas that seemed outside of their “cone.” However, those of us that went through Hurricanes Harvey and Irma (and even those watching from areas outside those directly affected) recall all the news … Continue Reading

Sean Shaw Appointed to Florida’s Select Committee on Hurricane Response and Preparedness

Merlin Law Group attorney Sean Shaw has been appointed to the House Select Committee on Hurricane Response and Preparedness. Reportedly, the committee will address evacuation planning, building codes, property insurance, flood prevention, beach renourishment, emergency shelters, school closures, power recovery, gasoline availability, and tax relief. It should also discuss FEMA public assistance and coordination with … Continue Reading

Appraisers Agreeing Not To Include Issues of Loss May Render Policyholders with No Later Recovery

Appraisals can result in losing propositions for policyholders. I often teach that policyholders need to make certain that they do their best during appraisal and not expect a bad award to get overturned. Policyholders need very hardworking, honest, and knowledgeable persons selected as their appraisers.… Continue Reading
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