Florida Insurance Matters (July 2018)

Jul 10, 2018

July 2018

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.

Court upholds insured’s right to sign multiple AOBs

An appellate court has again upheld an insured’s right to assign policy benefits freely, including the right to assign benefits to multiple parties. The insured assigned his policy benefits to two service providers, one for water and debris removal and the other to an asbestos remediation provider. 

The carrier argued that the first assignment was for “any and all” benefits. The second assignment, therefore, was invalid since there were no further rights under the policy to assign. The appellate court disagreed and held that the intent of the assignment, when construed as a whole, was to assign benefits to the provider for the services performed by that provider, not all the rights to payment for the entire claim.

Nicon Construction v. Homeowners Choice Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co., (2d DCA May 11, 2018).

Tips & Lessons:

  • Multiple partial AOBs are permissible
  • The courts have not yet definitively held whether partial assignees must be joined as indispensable parties when coverage is disputed. This argument should be raised to establish res judicata and prevent insurers from exposure to multiple lawsuits and inconsistent judgments arising from the same claim