Florida’s 4th District Court of Appeals (“4th DCA”), recently issued an opinion relating to compliance with post-loss duties in a property insurance case.1 The issue centered on whether the policyholder breached their duties under the insurance contract by not timely submitting a sworn proof of loss. The trial court decided that the policyholder could not recover under the policy because of their untimely submission of a sworn proof of loss. The policyholder appealed that ruling. The 4th DCA affirmed the trial court. We will discuss the reasoning behind the decision.
In a recent blog I discussed how a Second Circuit Court of Appeals case, Fabrozzi v. Lexington Insurance Company,1 interpreted the law regarding “Late Notice” expansively in favor of policyholders. A recent New York State Court of Appeals ruling has failed to continue this expansion and has left the law as it was regarding a carrier’s duty to deny a claim based on late notice.
Recently, Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal issued an opinion in a case involving Florida’s Statute of Limitations for property insurance claims.1 The question in this case, as well as many others recently, involves a 2011 amendment to §95.11(2)(e), which states that the limitations period in an action for breach of a property insurance contract begins to run from the date of loss. Before that change, the statute said the five year period ran from the date of breach of the contract.
Florida’s statute of limitations for an action on a contract, such as an insurance policy, is five years.1 Under a 2011 amendment to the statute, the five year period for breach of a property insurance contract begins to run from the date of loss.2
Slow, delayed and late replacement and repair is the usual normal state of affairs after major catastrophes. In New Jersey and New York, slow and bogged down restoration and repair is the worst I have ever seen. Most insurance companies pay and work with their customers during post loss construction. A few insurance companies deny coverage citing limitations in policies that seem to require construction to take place with a certain amount of days or years.
Certainly the majority of an attorney’s work in any given field has a certain amount of repetition, whether returning clients or similar claims. However, occasionally a case comes along unlike any you’ve ever seen before: Last week, Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal ruled that damage caused to a home due to an exploding corpse was not a covered peril.1
Check the mailing address on your policy and double check it again to make sure it is accurate. That is the best advice I can give after reading a recent Florida appellate court case involving a policy cancellation notice the insurer mailed to its insured.1 The address shown in the insurance policy for the mailing address can be used as sufficient notice for the insurer when communicating things like a cancellation of the policy. What if the mailing address on the policy has a mistake in it? According to this recent case, the law will look at it as sufficient notice of cancellation.
A topic of interest in New York, where courts are currently hearing Superstorm Sandy cases, is whether policyholder allegations of bad faith claims handling against insurers state a cause of action under state law. Needless to say, policyholder and carrier advocates do not agree on this issue. It is a hot topic too, with thousands of policyholders having to resort to litigation to obtain the recovery due from Superstorm Sandy damage. Recently, a policyholder appealed a state court order dismissing bad faith allegations against the insurer.1
Judge Hurley of the United States Southern District Court of Florida recently set out what may be the most extensive statement of an insurance broker’s duty under Florida law.1