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Analysis of New Case Law re: Dual Track Appraisal

Posted by Michael A. Cassel | Feb 02, 2024 | 0 Comments

On February 1, 2024, the Supreme Court of Florida released its decision in American Coastal Insurance Company v. San Marco Villas Condominium Association, Inc. The San Marco opinion discusses, and attempts to resolve, the longstanding conflict between Florida appellate courts related to the completion of appraisal when coverage issues exist.

Analysis of New Case Law re: Presuit Notice Requirements

Posted by Michael A. Cassel | May 03, 2023 | 0 Comments

On May 3, 2023, the Fourth District Court of Appeals released their decision in Cole v. Universal Property and Casualty Insurance Company.  The Cole opinion discusses the retroactive application of pre-suit notice requirement enact as part of section 627.70152, Florida Statutes.  While a more in-depth analysis of Senate Bills 76 (2021) and 2-A (2023) is forthcoming, this immediate preliminary examination is necessary due to the potential implications of the opinion.

Analysis of New Case Law re: the Supreme Opinion on Public Adjusters acting as "Disinterested" Appraisers

Posted by Michael A. Cassel | Feb 10, 2023 | 0 Comments

On February 9, 2023, the Supreme Court of Florida released their decision in Parrish v. State Farm Florida Insurance Company.  The Parrish opinion firmly states that a public adjuster, including the president of a public adjusting company, cannot serve as a “disinterested" appraiser if they have a pecuniary interest in the outcome of the appraisal.

Analysis of New Case Law re: Mitigating Factors in the Late Notice/Prejudice Analysis

Posted by Michael A. Cassel | Jan 31, 2023 | 0 Comments

On January 27, 2023, the Second District Court of Appeals released their decision in Cordero v. Florida Insurance Guaranty Association, Inc. While the case law regarding prompt notice of an insurance claim seems all but settled, the Cordero opinion expands upon the analysis as it pertains to when an insured must place the carrier on notice of a claim.

Cassel & Cassel has three attorneys recognized in Florida Super Lawyers Magazine for the second consecutive year

Posted by Michael A. Cassel | Jun 24, 2022 | 0 Comments

Hillary CasselMichael Cassel , and  Alex Zatik have all been featured in the 2022 edition of Florida Super Lawyers Magazine. Hillary was named as a Florida Super Lawyer for the second year in a row after six consecutive years as a Rising Star. Michael and Alex were both named as Rising Stars. This marks the sixth consecutive year for Michael and the second consecutive year for Alex.

Analysis of New Case Law re: the Burden of Proving Prejudice

Posted by Michael A. Cassel | Apr 20, 2022 | 0 Comments

On April 13, 2022, the Fourth District Court of Appeals released their decision in Sharon Godfrey v. People’s Trust Insurance Company,[1] (hereinafter "Godfrey"). The Godfrey opinion discusses a shift in the burden to prove prejudice as it pertains to the failure to comply with conditions precedent to coverage in a homeowners insurance policy.

Analysis of New Case Law re: Intent as an Element when Voiding Coverage based on False Statements or Material Misrepresentations

Posted by Michael A. Cassel | Sep 08, 2021 | 0 Comments

What was once a trilogy has become a tetralogy. On April 24, 2019, March 16, 2020, and April 1, 2021, we published articles regarding the decisions in Alvarez v. State Farm, [1] Beseler v. Avatar, [2] and Mezadieu v. Safepoint,[3] respectively, on the topic of material misrepresentations voiding coverage under insurance policies. The Alvarez opinion was being used for the proposition that an allegedly overinflated estimate is de facto fraud/material misrepresentation. We argued that this was not the case due to established case law culminating in the holding in Beseler. This position was somewhat vindicated after the release of the Mezadieu opinion where the court found intent was not required when the misrepresentation was material in light of extenuating circumstances wherein the insured testified that she knew $11,000 of the total estimated amount should not have been in there. It was and is our argument that the Mezadieu court ignored analysis of this fact in reaching their holding. Most recently, on June 2, 2021,[4] the Fourth District Court of Appeal released their opinion in the matter of Anchor Property and Casualty Insurance Company v. Alex Trif and George Trif (hereinafter "Trif").[5] In Trif, the appellate court performed an in depth analysis regarding the requirement for intent when an insurance carrier seeks to utilize the concealment or fraud provision to void coverage. In doing so, the Trif court distinguished Mezadieu in a manner similar to that of our prior analysis. Once again, we stand firm and confident in our argument that simply because an estimate is unilaterally deemed to be too high by an insurance company either in scope or price does not mean the insured has committed fraud or put forth a material misrepresentation sufficient to void coverage.

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