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Disagreement over the size of the loss needed to invoke assessment | Property Insurance Law Team Blog



Can a policyholder compete for a lawsuit and demand valuation without expressing disagreement about the size of the damage? A Florida court says “no”.1

Possession is quite simple:

Since the parties never engaged in an exchange of information that was sufficient to establish a real disagreement about the size of the loss, the issue was not ripe for assessment, and the district court erred in granting the association’s early claim to force assessment.

The vast majority of all insurance disputes reach a point where either the insurer explicitly states in words that convey “the policyholder requests payment that is greater than what is determined to be due”

;, or the policyholder conveys the message that “the insurer also pays small.” There is usually a certain anger and exchange of ideas that what is paid or calculated is due is something that has not been agreed upon. It is a pronounced disagreement.

My reading of the case indicates that the courts are calling for a certain expressed disagreement about the insurer’s estimated amount of damages before the policyholder can demand an evaluation. Since that has been my practice, I agree with the decision. In whole or in part, there should be some disagreement about the size of the damage before the policyholder requires evaluation.

My concern is that the insurance companies will highlight this language in the decision:

Simply put, the parties did not participate in a meaningful exchange that was sufficient to establish a disagreement about the value of the property or the size of the loss. We confirm that “the assessment is premature when a party has not provided a meaningful exchange of information sufficient to substantiate the existence of a genuine disagreement.

Some insurance companies can never get enough “meaningful” exchanges of information when they delay and refuse to pay in full, citing that their investigation is still ongoing. They will argue that the matter is not ripe for an assessment even if there is a real dispute and disagreement about the loss. This happens quite often with condominiums or larger dollar receivables.

Today’s thoughts

The people to fear are not those who do not agree with you, but those who do not agree with you and are too cowardly to let you know.
– Napoleon Bonaparte
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1 Some underwriters at Lloyd’s v. Lago Grande 5-D Condo. Ass’nNo. 3D21-636 (Fla. 3d DCA May 4, 2022).


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