On January 6, 2012, a trial judge in Hernando County, Florida, held that a specific monetary “cure amount” and specific policy language are not required in a Civil Remedy Notice. The filing of a Civil Remedy Notice is a condition precedent to bringing a statutory bad faith action under Florida Statute 624.155.

In Rittweger v. State Farm Florida Insurance Company, the Rittwegers filed a Civil Remedy Notice as a result of State Farm’s alleged bad faith handling of their underlying property insurance claim. In the subsequent bad faith action, State Farm filed a motion for summary judgment, contending the Civil Remedy Notice was defective because it did not contain a monetary “cure amount” and specific policy language that was at issue in the claim. Judge Richard Tombrink Jr., denied State Farm’s summary judgment motion:

[A]s neither the statute nor the case law specifically require or make mandatory that a specific monetary “cure amount” be stated within the Civil Remedy Notice or that specific policy language be referenced as a condition precedent before bring[ing] a bad faith claim.

Although helpful as a roadmap for policyholders, this order is not binding authority on other courts. It is imperative for policyholders to read the statutory requirements or retain experienced insurance counsel before filing a Civil Remedy Notice.