Have you ever asked somebody if they can see “the handwriting on the wall?”1 You do not need to be a legal eagle to anticipate the probable outcome of this blog’s title question while reading the lower Florida appellate court’s ruling2 and how it phrased the certified question to the Florida Supreme Court:
Continue Reading Can the Public Adjuster on a Contingent Fee Act As the Appraiser?

My New York colleague, Jonathan Wilkofsky, not long ago wrote a third edition to his book about appraisal, The Law and Procedure of Insurance Appraisal. If the appraisal cases in Florida and Colorado keep up at their frantic pace of publication, he is certainly going to have a fourth edition in the near future. A recent Florida case concerned the common issue of whether appraisal is appropriate to determine whether a roof can be repaired with matching shingles.1
Continue Reading Is Appraisal Appropriate to Determine If the Policyholder Is Entitled to Matching Shingles or a New Roof Replacement?

Pursuant to section 624.155(3)(a) of the Florida Statutes, an insured has a right to file a bad-faith cause of action if his or her carrier violates enumerated statutory provisions.1 Before filing such an action, however, the insured must meet three requirements:

1 There must be a determination of the insurer’s liability for coverage.

2 There must be a determination of the extent of the insured’s damages.

3 The insured must provide notice to the carrier by filing a Civil Remedy Notice (“CRN”) with Florida’s Department of Financial Services.2

Before the determination of liability and coverage, can an insured file a CRN?
Continue Reading Can You File a Civil Remedy Notice Before Coverage and Liability Are Established?

The purpose of a Civil Remedy Notice (“Notice”) is to provide an insurance company with a final opportunity to comply with its good-faith claim handling obligations and fix previous wrongdoings.1 Once a property owner files a Notice, the insurance company has a sixty-day window to fix the alleged wrongdoings to avoid “bad-faith” litigation.2 However, when an insurance company commits multiple wrongdoings, it may be necessary for an insured to file multiple Notices.
Continue Reading What Is the Effect of Filing Multiple Civil Remedy Notices in a Single Claim?

Those appraisers being hired on a contingency fee may want to read a recent case indicating that you cannot do so where the policy requires a “disinterested” appraiser.1 While the case discussion noted the difference between an “independent” appraiser and a “disinterested” appraiser, the trend in Florida cases is clearly moving towards no appraisers being previously retained as public adjusters or those hired on a contingent basis.
Continue Reading “Disinterested” Appraiser Means One With No Pecuniary Interest in the Outcome of the Appraisal Award

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation did a great service for everybody by issuing rules and regulations relating to claims last July. Since I received another email request asking whether Florida has rules for “matching” regarding residential losses (the answer is “yes”) I thought it would be a good time to remind company, independent, and public adjusters as well as insurance remediation contractors and policyholders who might read this blog about the regulatory guidance provided:
Continue Reading Florida Property Insurance Claim Rules and Regulations Worthy of Review

Public adjusters in Florida have routinely appointed themselves as appraisers for their policyholder clients. This generally saves the policyholder money and provides a person already familiar with the loss and ready to move the appraisal process along. However, based on the trend and discussion in legal court cases, it appears that this practice of self-appointment will be a thing of the past.
Continue Reading Florida Public Adjusters Appointing Themselves As Appraisers May Be History

The Florida Third District Court of Appeal recently found that when a policyholder failed to substantially comply with a post-loss obligation, the insurance company is presumed to have been prejudiced by the breach.1 The burden then shifts to the policyholder to show that the failure to comply with a post-loss obligation did not prejudice the insurance company. The question remains: What have courts found to satisfy a policyholder’s burden of showing that reporting a claim late did not prejudice the insurance company?
Continue Reading Overcoming the Prejudice of Late Reporting