American Coastal Insurance v. Villas of Suntree

On June 3, 2022, STRUBLE, P.A. prevailed on appeal when the Fifth District Court of Appeal affirmed an Order compelling appraisal.  The insurer initially asserted in 2018 that the net claim amount was $373.40.  On February 14, 2020 a supplemental claim was filed in 2020, resulting in the insurer paying $738,568.63 on April 17, 2020.  The insurer claimed the remainder of the claim was under investigation.  The insured submitted documents requested by the insurer and ultimately filed a lawsuit which included a count to compel appraisal. After a hearing, the trial court granted the insured’s motion to compel appraisal, which the insurer appealed.  The Fifth District affirmed the order compelling appraisal and included the following finding: 

Although not explicitly stated in its order, it is apparent that the trial court found that Suntree’s demand for appraisal was ripe based upon the court’s implied conclusion that Suntree had sufficiently complied with its post-loss obligations in terms of providing documentation and information.”  American Coastal Insurance Company v. The Villas of Suntree, 5D21-1354, 2022 WL 1814253 (Fla. 5th DCA June 3, 2022).  

The opinion also cited two of STRUBLE, P.A.’s prior opinions establishing when appraisal is proper, including when an insurer raises an exclusion, or asserts that the claim is below the deductible.  Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London v. Sorgenfrei, 278 So. 3d 930, 931 (Fla. 5th DCA 2019); First Protective Ins. Co. v. Colucciello, 276 So. 3d 456, 458 (Fla. 5th DCA 2019).

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