The First District Court of Appeals in the state of Florida has recently given a serious victory for holders of insurance policies by affirming a local Circuit Court’s order. This ruling compels insurers to produce its full and unabridged underwriting manual in any action involving a breach of contract.
What is the point of the ruling?
The ruling by the court came about as a reaction to a breach of contract claim that was filed by a Florida policyholder. An insurance company refused to pay out on a claim. The reason given was that the damage done by a leaking pipe predated the inception of the policy. As such, they were not liable to pay.
Contract disputes have been an ongoing source of tension and legal unrest. The DCA court in the state of Florida has sought via this new ruling to quell some of this discontent on the part of policyholders. The ruling may be appealed in the near future. At the moment, it is being hailed by policyholders as a bold and visionary move.
Underwriting manuals must be produced during discovery
Contract disputes are one of the most common forms of litigation handled by courts in the state of Florida. Many of these disputes arose as a result of policyholders not having access to underwriting manuals. This means that they were not fully up to speed on all of the various rules and regulations that a company may have regarding its policy.
The ruling by the DCA court is designed to put a stop to this somewhat deceptive practice. It states that underwriting manuals must be produced during the initial discovery process. This is a move that will hopefully lead to more robust transparency.