In real estate cases from a first party, it is common for an insured's expert to go to a property after the loss to investigate. During the investigation, an expert can ask the insured questions that are necessary to formulate that expert's opinions, such as the property's observable condition before the insured's loss, or which objects have been visibly damaged. This is because the expert has often never been to the property and must formulate an opinion on the cause and / or extent of the damage after the loss.
Carriers sometimes claim:
- An expert cannot trust such statements by formulating his opinion; or
- The statements of the insured are hearsay and are not admissible.
At first glance, out-of-court statements that an insured person by an insured person may appear to be hearing impaired. However, Florida law offers experts the ability to rely on these statements under certain conditions and may also allow these statements to be introduced at a hearing or trial if the insured is available to testify.
1 Vega v. State Farm Mut. Auto. 45 So. 3d 43, 45 (Fla. 5th DCA 2010).