There is a raging legal debate about whether the new Florida statute requiring pre-suit notice is to be applied retroactively. Interestingly, just to be safe, we filed a pre-suit notice and the insurance company, Castel Key, responded by indicating that the statute does not have retroactive application:
Continue Reading Intent to Initiate Litigation Statute in Florida—Does It Apply to Policies Issued Before the Effective Date of the Statute?

I’ve previously written about the “claims file privilege” in the state of Florida. In that blog post, Obtaining the Insurance Company Claims File, I discussed that the “claims file privilege” is a judicially created privilege and as a result of Florida abolishing common law privilege, privileges cannot be derived from judicial construction. Florida Statutes 90.501-90.510 discuss the applicable privileges in Florida, and “claims file” is not one of them.
Continue Reading The “Claims File Privilege” in Florida

A lawsuit by Olympus Insurance Company challenges Florida’s Office of Insurance Regulation about issues of paying for property that matches following a repair. The lawsuit also challenges whether the Florida matching statute is a minimum limit of indemnity and if insurers can contract out of matching.
Continue Reading Is Florida’s Matching Statute a Minimum Limit of Required Indemnity or Can Insurers Contract Out of Matching?

Michael Cassel forwarded the above letter from Citizens Property Insurance Company which accepts the position that Florida’s new pre-suit notice requirements do not apply to policies issued before July 1, 2021. There is previous case precedent that supports this position and Citizens is not doing this out of the goodness of their hearts.
Continue Reading Citizens Agrees That Florida’s New Pre-Suit Notice Requirements Does Not Apply to Policies Issued Before the Effective Date of the Statute

A number of Florida insurance companies removed appraisal from their policies over the past several years. Since litigation was the only method of resolution, this lead in part to a sharp increase in lawsuits filed. This “Wag The Dog” scenario then allowed the Florida insurance industry to claim a spike increase in the number of lawsuits filed and seek a need for alleged reform which harms Florida policyholders.
Continue Reading Does SB 76 Require An Insurer and Policyholder to Go To Appraisal If The Policy Does Not Reference Appraisal?

We still field questions from adjusters about what gets paid if there is a total loss in Florida. I am certain that most adjusters remember something about a Florida total loss case where law and ordinance benefits were automatically paid without showing proof of loss. That case is known as Mierzwa1 and that part of Mierzwa was overruled by Ceballo.2
Continue Reading Total Loss Does Not Mean Supplemental Coverages Get Paid—Ceballo Overruled Mierzwa So That Law and Ordinance Does Not Get Automatically Paid Following a Total Loss

A recent Florida case1 has a lengthy discussion about cases where changing valuations by the insured are then used by clever insurance company attorneys to argue that a post-loss fraud has occurred. This is now a common practice in litigation throughout the country as policyholders, public adjusters, and contractors make differing estimates of loss and have different opinions about what the measure of the loss should be.
Continue Reading Insurance Company Attorneys Often Wrongfully Argue That a Fraud Occurs When Parties Only Have a Difference of Opinion

Florida’s new anti-policyholder laws found in SB 76 were not vetoed and instead were signed into law effective July 1, 2021. This is a big win for insurance companies which delay and underpay claims. The effect of these laws make it more difficult to hold those insurance companies accountable, further delay claims payments when those insurance companies do delay payment, provide new technical defenses to insurance companies when they are sued, reduce the time to submit all claims to insurers, and make it much less probable that policyholder attorneys fees will be fully paid by delaying and underpaying insurance companies. To top it off, nobody in the insurance industry promises that these new laws will reduce insurance rates.
Continue Reading Florida’s New Anti-Policyholder SB 76 Signed Into Law By Governor DeSantis

Insurance companies in Florida are increasingly invoking a right to make repairs. It creates a hornet’s nest because the policyholder may get left with a delayed and insufficient repair. Then, what happens?
Continue Reading Has Your Insurer Elected to Repair Your Damage? It Needs to Do the Work In a Reasonable Time and Correctly