Insured’s Failure to Comply with Post-Loss Duties Precludes Coverage
Jun 5, 2018 | By Amy Koltnow
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.