Senior Associate C.J. Gomes authored an article titled, "Non-Florida Insurers and Florida Accidents," which was published in the Fall 2020 issue of DRI's In-House Defense Quarterly. Click on the link to read the article.
The article identifies serious questions that can arise for automobile insurers that do not issue automobile insurance policies in Florida when their insured travels to and has an accident in Florida. Two common issues include:
1) When, why, and how an insurer that does not issue policies in Florida should or must comply with Florida’s mandatory insurance disclosure requirements; and
2) Which state’s standards of good faith and proper claims handling apply in such a situation.
It is critical that a claim professional or defense attorney recognize these issues and address them at the outset of the claims handling, so as not to fall inadvertently into a potential bad faith trap. As one example, claimants’ attorneys in Florida routinely send Florida Statute Section 627.4137 requests for disclosure with the initial letter of representation.
While the author firmly believes that the safe harbor provision of Florida’s Insurance Code protects insurers from the disclosure of policies or contracts that are neither issued for delivery in Florida nor delivered in Florida, there are times when disclosure nevertheless may be recommended.
Florida’s “place of performance” rule is significant because it may subject insurers, who do not routinely issue policies in Florida, to Florida’s claims handling standards.
Click on the link to read the full article.
About the Author
C.J. Gomes focuses her practice primarily on insurance defense litigation, including complex coverage issues, insurer bad faith/extra-contractual liability, and appeals. She offers her clients a full range of insurance coverage services, including prosecuting or defending declaratory judgment coverage suits, providing coverage opinions, obtaining examinations under oath, and preparing reservation of rights and claim denial letters. She advises insurers on a variety of coverage issues involving auto, property, umbrella, commercial general liability, homeowners, disability, employment practices liability, and professional malpractice policies.