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?
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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.
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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.
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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:
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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.
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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?
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A judge agreed with my view posted in, Did Florida Mistakenly Place an Insurer Into Insolvency, Try to Disqualify the Law Firm That Pointed Out the Mistake and Harm 91,000 Policyholders By Quick and Unnecessary Non-Renewals?

The Florida Department of Financial Services and the Office of Insurance simply made a mess of Florida Specialty Insurance Company’s financial problems and cancellation of policies.
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The propriety of Florida Specialty Insurance Company’s insolvency should be investigated by the media and other Florida leaders. The Florida Department of Financial Services filed what appears to be a spurious motion to disqualify a very reputable insurance company law firm, Cozen O’Connor, that filed a motion, which if correct, shows that a simple accounting error lead to a false claim that Florida Specialty Insurance Company was insolvent.
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In Florida, if an insured fails to meet a post-loss obligation, is it a complete bar to recovery? In a recent decision, the Third District Court of Appeal certified conflict with the Fourth District Court of Appeal and held that an insurer must be prejudiced by the insured’s non-compliance with a post-loss obligation in order for the insured to forfeit coverage.
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