On September 3, 2014 the Fourth District Court of Appeal held that an appraisal award entitles an insured to bring a bad faith lawsuit against an insurance company. Although prevailing case law had already established that an appraisal award allows a bad faith lawsuit, this decision is important because it went one step further. The Fourth District held that a bad faith lawsuit is ripe even if a determination was not made that the insurer breached the contract. A copy of the decision can be accessed here:
As a result of this decision, the appraisal process can result in substantial exposure to insurance companies as they could be more commonly exposed to bad faith lawsuits. This line of Florida decisions is why many Florida insurance companies have removed appraisal provisions from their policies in recent years.