Complying with Policy Conditions

Just today, the 4th DCA ruled in Kramer v. State Farm Florida Insurance Company, ____ So.3d ____ (Fla. 4th DCA 2012), where an insured homeowner gave late notice and proof of loss concerning a wind damage claim.

Ultimately, the insurance company in this case won on summary judgment.  But, the important part of this case

Our client submitted a claim for sinkhole losses at his home.  The insurance company denied the claim based on what the insurer claims was a “material misrepresentation” on our client’s insurance application.
Continue Reading Lawsuit Filed After Insurance Company Claims “Material Misrepresentation” on Insurance Application

My client bought liability insurance for his business.  When he presented a claim, his insurance company denied the claim and has voided the policy for what it says were “material misrepresentations” on the application for insurance.

Specifically, the insurer says that my client misrepresented that he renovated hotel rooms and that he subbed out much

In Citizens Property Insurance Corporation v. Maytin, ____ So.3d ____ (Fla. 3rd DCA 2010), the insured homeowner sued Citizens for failing to pay a homeowner’s claim.  After filing suit, the insured moved to compel appraisal.  Citizens argued that the insured prevented the insurer from fully inspecting the property, thereby precluding him from invoking the appraisal clause.  The trial court granted the motion to compel, and ordered the case to appraisal.  Citizens appealed the non-final order.Continue Reading 3rd Remands Case for Evidentiary Hearing on Whether Insured Complied with Presuit Conditions

My client insures multiple vehicles on his auto policy with Cornerstone National Insurance Company. The auto insurance policy provides liability coverage for bodily injury liability, property damage liability for damage to other vehicles, and collision coverage for damage to his vehicles. My client’s friend, while driving one of his vehicles (with his consent), is alleged

In Mercury Insurance Company of Florida v. Markham, ____ So.3d ____ (Fla. 3rd DCA April 20, 2010), the application for insurance asked if the subject vehicle had been "rebuilt, salvaged, modified, altered, or specially built/customized?"  Markham – the applicant – stated "no" to this question.   

Prior to the application Markham had put large tires and a

In Lloyds Underwriters v. Keystone Equipment Finance Corp., 25 So3d 89 (Fla. 4th DCA 2009), the insured obtained an insurance policy from Lloyds providing liability coverage on a commercial tractor-trailer.  The policy’s effective date was November 30, 2004.  The tractor-trailer was stolen December 18, 2004.  The policy provided coverage for loss due to theft, but Lloyds denied the claim, relying on a "Garaging or Secured Yard Warranty" contained in the policy.  This garaging warranty required the insured to "warrant" that the vehicle would be kept in a closed garage, in an enclosed 24-hour guarded lot, or parked adjacent to the insured’s residence.  A breach of this warranty "shall result in denial of claim or any rights of recovery hereunder." 

The insured sued Lloyds for breach of contract alleging that Lloyds was estopped from relying, or waived its right to rely, upon the garaging warranty because Lloyds had failed to comply with the notice and delivery requirements of Florida Statutes Section 627.421 and 626.922, and the insured had not otherwise been provided notice of the garaging warranty.  Section 627.421 requires delivery of the insurance policy not more than sixty days after effectuation of coverage.  Section 626.922 requires the surplus lines agent to "promptly issue and deliver to the insured" either the policy or, if the policy is not "then available, a certificate, cover note, or other confirmation of insurance" showing, amount other things, "coverage, conditions, and term of insurance."  Section 626.922(1).  Section 626.922(4) provides that "[a] copy of the policy or cover note or confirmation of insurance shall be delivered to the insured within 60 days after the effectuation of coverage." 

The insured provided an affidavit wherein he swore that the loss occurred on December 18, 2004, that he had not received a copy of the binder or policy prior to the loss, and that he had not otherwise received written or verbal notice of the garaging warranty.  The insured did file a copy of the binder issued by the insurance agent, bearing a date of January 2, 2005, and the Lloyds’ policy, listing February 9, 2005, as the date printed on the schedules of equipment and drivers. 

Lloyds did not dispute these facts, but merely argued that Florida law expressly provides that the doctrines of estoppel and waiver may not be applied to create coverage that does not otherwise exist. 

The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the insured.  On appeal, the 4th DCA affirmed.Continue Reading Lloyds Estopped from Asserting “Garaging Warranty” by Failing to Deliver Policy

Pursuant to Florida Statute Section 627.409, an insurer can retroactively rescind a policy if it later finds a material misrepresentation in the application for insurance.  A misrepresentation is "material" if the misrepresentation was material to the acceptance of the risk by the insurer, or, if the insurer in good faith would not have issued the policy