قالب وردپرس درنا توس
Home / Insurance / "Claims File Privilege" in Florida – Blog about property insurance coverage

"Claims File Privilege" in Florida – Blog about property insurance coverage



I have previously written about the "claim file privilege" in the state of Florida. In that blog post, Obtaining the Insurance Company's Damages File I discussed that "protection rights" are a legally created privilege and as a result of Florida abolishing the privileges under common law, privileges cannot be derived from legal construction. Florida's statutes 90.501-90.510 discuss applicable privileges in Florida, and "claim file" is not one of them.

A Florida court decision gives some clarity on the matter. the documents in the "claim" were not prepared in anticipation of litigation but rather as part of the insurance companies' adjustment of the claim, which is an activity required by the policy.

Simply put, an insurance company, like all other litigation, must show that the subject matter has prepared in anticipation of litigation, as opposed to part of an investigation "carried out during the normal course of action of evaluating the claim" made by its insured. Nationwide Mut. Fire Ins. Co. v. Harmon 580 So. 2d 1

92 (Fla. 4th DCA 1991). Insurance companies are in the process of issuing insurances and adjusting claims, not the business of processing them, and the vast majority of claims filed by their insured do not lead to conflicting proceedings. And while it is theoretically "possible" that any claim filed by an insured will end up in litigation, any document generated as part of an insurer's adaptation activity is not immune to detection.

The Court confirms that the work product privilege is the applicable privilege and goes on to discuss the descendants of the "claims file privilege" and how the underlying privilege actually is the Work-Product Privilege:

The bottom line is that documents in an insurance company's file – as documents in any litigation file – that are relevant or reasonably estimated to lead to the discovery of acceptable evidence can be discovered unless, and only if, they are not privileged. See Fla. R. Civ. P. 1,280 (b) (1). It does not matter if the document in the insurer's file is an "activity log", "claim manual", "photograph" of the damaged property or something else. It also does not matter how the material is marked by the carrier or where it is in the insurer's "file". Such material is protected by the work product privilege if, and only if, it is produced "pending litigation." See Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.280 (b (3). The law simply does not recognize a privilege for "claims file".

When I wrote the original blog, a friend asked me: "Do not expect insurance companies litigation at. the time of a loss? "My first thought was that if an insurance company expects to be sued every time their insured makes a claim, the company's claims handling process must be terrible. because it is discovery to which they are otherwise entitled.
__________________________________
1 Udelson v. Nationwide Ins. Co. of Florida No. 12-25140 CA 20, 20 Fla. L. Weekly Supp. 1167a (Fla. Cir. Ct, Miami-Dade April 5, 2013).


Source link