Appraisal Demand Does Not Toll the Time to Cure a CRN

Aug 30, 2017


Here’s your update on Florida insurance-related legal developments from the Colodny Fass Insurance Litigation Practice.

Florida Insurance Matters is a monthly update on Florida insurance-related legal developments by the Colodny Fass Insurance Litigation Practice, recently recognized as the Insurance Litigation Department of the Year in South Florida by the Daily Business Review.

About the Author

Amy L. Koltnow, a Colodny Fass Shareholder, focuses her practice on representing insurance companies in complex insurance litigation and counseling insurers on claims resolution. She has represented insurers in connection with property damage and first-party coverage litigation, claims of “bad faith,” high-risk exposures, class actions and multi-district litigation.

For more information about Ms. Koltnow, click here.

Attorney’s Fees Claims Denied Due to Ambiguous General Release

The Third DCA affirmed a jury verdict of no coverage in favor of Citizens, but upheld the trial court’s denial of Citizens’ claim for attorney’s fees finding the general release attached to the proposal for settlement ambiguous. Although the appellate court did not explain the reasons why the release was ambiguous, the trial court held the proposal was ambiguous since the release covered all unknown, unanticipated, and unsuspected claims for damages in the future, and required the releasor to be responsible for the replacement and repairs of all items to the satisfaction of the mortgagee.

Waterview Condominium Assoc. Inc. v. Citizens Prop. Ins. Corp., August 9, 2017 (3d DCA).

Drafting an unambiguous release to support an enforceable PFS is not an easy task. Consider whether a release is necessary or whether a dismissal of the lawsuit with prejudice will sufficiently protect the insurer from subsequent lawsuits.


Appraisal Demand Does Not Toll the Time to Cure a CRN

In a covered sinkhole loss where the parties’ dispute was over the cost of repairs, State Farm was successful in compelling appraisal. However, the insured previously filed a CRN which had expired before the appraisal process was concluded. After appraisal concluded, State Farm paid the award (policy limits), and the insured then sued for bad faith. State Farm argued the CRN was not valid when filed since appraisal had not concluded. The trial court entered summary judgment for State Farm, but the 5 DCA reversed holding that nothing in the statute or case law precludes an insured from filing a CRN while a demand for appraisal is outstanding and a demand for appraisal does not “toll” the filing of a CRN. The bad faith case was remanded to proceed to a trial on the merits.

Landers v. State Farm Ins. Co., August 11, 2017 (5th DCA).

When appraisal is invoked, do not lose track of the claim and be vigilant about pursuing a swift resolution.

If a CRN is filed, the 60 days are meant to cure violations, including claim delays – the filing signals the insurer’s obligation to expedite appraisal and promptly act on delays–including delays caused by the insured’s own actions or inaction.

Colodny Fass’ Maria Abate and Danielle Bullock: Errors and Omissions Claims on the Rise

Colodny Fass attorneys Maria Elena Abate and Danielle Bullock spoke to the Latin American Association of Insurance Agencies (LAAIA) about a rise in errors and omissions claims against insurance agents and brokers. In their presentation earlier this month, Ms. Abate and Ms. Bullock discussed avoiding unnecessary exposure to litigation through a better understanding of Florida law.

Our attorneys frequently speak on issues pertinent to your organization. And we’ll come to you! Contact Amy Koltnow if you are interested in a presentation on best practices for claims handling, bad faith, legal updates, deposition skills, or any other topics tailored to assist you.

For over 40 years, Colodny Fass has represented insurers in complex and high-risk litigation including class actions, bad faith, insurance fraud, multi-jurisdictional cases, coverage matters, and fact-intensive, multi-party lawsuits. The Daily Business Review has recognized Colodny Fass as having the Insurance Litigation Department of the Year in South Florida.

About Amy L. Koltnow

Amy L. Koltnow, a Colodny Fass Shareholder, focuses her practice on insurance disputes from trial through appeals. She has represented insurance companies in federal and state courts, as well as in mediation and administrative forums. Ms. Koltnow oversees complex litigation matters and has successfully defended numerous class actions and insurance bad faith cases. She is a member of the Claims and Litigation Management Alliance, a national, invitation-only organization committed to furthering high standards of litigation and claims management in pursuit of client defense.

To view Ms. Koltnow’s complete professional biography, click here.

Contact Amy at or (954) 492-4010.