The Fifth District Court of Appeal recently held in Heylin v. Gulfstream Property & Casualty Insurance Company that the insurance policy’s severability clause and the intentional-act exclusion created an ambiguity that requires that the insurance policy be resolved in the insured’s favor. A copy of the decision can be accessed here.
As a result of the ambiguity, the Fifth District Court of Appeal directed the trial court to enter summary judgment in favor of the insured and find that Gulfstream Property & Casualty Insurance Company owed a duty to defend its insured and provide liability coverage to its insured. Insurance policies are typically very lengthy and are complicated contracts. Just one word in these voluminous documents can create an ambiguity in the insurance policy. Heylin v. Gulfstream Property & Casualty Insurance Company is an example of how Florida law requires that an insurance policy be interpreted against the insurance company and in favor of the insured if an ambiguity in the policy exists.