Colodny Fass Featured in Federation of Regulatory Counsel October 2011 Update

Oct 21, 2011


Colodny Fass attorneys were featured contributors to the Florida section of the Federation of Regulatory Counsel’s (“FORC”) October 2011 “FORC Alert.”  To view the publication, click here.  The articles are reprinted below.

Miami-Dade Circuit Court Holds That Attendance at Examination Under Oath (EUO) is a Condition Precedent to Suit

On July 13, 2011, the Circuit Court of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit in and for Miami-Dade County Florida, acting in its appellate capacity in the case of State Farm Fire and Casualty Company v. Suncare Physical Therapy, Inc., Case No. 08-648 AP, held that an insured’s failure to attend a properly noticed Examination Under Oath (“EUO”), as required by the applicable policy of insurance, contractually barred suit by the insured’s medical provider/assignee, as it was a failure of an express condition precedent.  The Suncare court discussed language in the recent Florida Supreme Court decision in Custer Med. Center v. United Auto. Ins. Co., 35 Fla. L. Weekly S640a (Fla. Nov. 4, 2010), indicating that insurance policy provisions requiring EUOs as a condition precedent to suit, or that are not expressly permitted by the PIP statute, are unenforceable.

Supreme Court of Florida Finds Automobile Policy Household Exclusion to be Unambiguous

In State Farm Mutual Automobile Ins. Co. v. Gilda Menendez, SC10-116 (August 25, 2011), the Supreme Court of Florida held in favor of State Farm Insurance Company on the question of “whether the household exclusion barring coverage for ‘any bodily injury to’ ‘any insured or any member of an insured’s family residing in the insured’s household’ unambiguously eliminates coverage for bodily injuries suffered by the members of the household of a permissive-driver insured.” The opinion is a victory for the insurance industry, inasmuch as it adds stability to the interpretation of clearly defined policy terms and maintains the bounds of coverage agreed to by insureds

Florida Commission on Hurricane Loss Projection Methodology Approves Florida Public Hurricane Loss Model

During a two-day meeting on August 17-18, 2011, the Florida Commission on Hurricane Loss Projection Methodology (“FCHLPM”) approved a revised version of the Florida Public Hurricane Loss Model Version 4.1, agreeing that it met all of the FCHLPM’s 2009 Standards to Determine Acceptability.  The Public Model’s initial submission had not been approved, inasmuch as it was riddled with typographical errors, including mislabeled tables, incorrect page numbers and miscalculations.  During the meeting, the FCHLPM also conducted a review of the six Standards, which include lengthy, technical and highly detailed requirements for evaluating hurricane models.  To view the complete meeting summary click here.

Florida Office of Insurance Regulation Drastically Curtails Citizens Property Insurance Corporation’s Post-SB 408 Sinkhole Rate Filing

In an order issued during the late evening hours of September 19, 2011,  Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty drastically reduced triple digit sinkhole rate increases requested by Citizens Property Insurance Corporation from an overall 447 percent to 32.8 percent.  Citizens’ rate increase requests, which were not uniform, ranged from zero to 2,688 percent.  For some policyholders, this would have resulted in average sinkhole premium increases of up to $5,521.  In explaining his rationale for essentially denying the requested rates, McCarty said that Florida’s state-run insurer of last resort was not able to provide a study or credible evidence in its rate filing that supported the requested increases.   To access the order and the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation news release, click here.

Florida Workers’ Compensation Joint Underwriting Association Board of Governors Approves Overall Average Premium Level Decrease of 9.7 Percent For New and Renewal Business Effective January 1, 2012

The Florida Workers’ Compensation Joint Underwriting Association Board of Governors met on September 27, 2011, during which it unanimously approved a 9.7 percent overall average premium decrease for new and renewal business.  The decrease, which will be effective January 1, 2012, will be adjusted to reflect any approved voluntary market rate level and class relativity changes that may become effective January 1.