Insured’s Failure to Comply with Post-Loss Duties Precludes Coverage

Jun 5, 2018 | By

An insurer afforded coverage for the insureds’ property damage from Hurricane Wilma and issued payment for the cost to replace the roof, repair damage to the interior and replace a cracked window. The insureds cashed the check but did not repair all the damage. In 2010, the insureds made a supplemental claim and ultimately filed suit over the supplemental claim. The trial court ordered the parties to appraisal. In a prior appeal, the appellate court reversed the appraisal order since the insureds had not complied with all post-loss obligations, including the obligation to protect the property from further damage. 
The insurer then sought a summary judgment based on the insureds’ failure to comply with their post loss obligations, which the trial court denied. The case proceeded to a jury trial and the jury rendered a verdict in favor of the insureds. The insurer appealed a second time. The appellate court vacated the jury’s verdict and held the insureds’ failure to comply with their post-loss obligations is deemed a material breach and the insurer is relieved of its duties under the policy.