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Property Law
or supplemental claim or portion of such claim made 60 days after the insurer receives notice of the claim, or made after the expiration of any additional timeframe provided to pay or deny a claim or a portion of a claim made pursuant to an order of the office finding factors beyond the control of the insurer, whichever is later, bears interest ....
 Section 627.70131 has been changed to specify the following:
(1)(a) Insurers now have 7 calendar days to review and acknowledge receipt of communications.
  (3)(a) Insurers now have 7 days after the insurer received proof of loss statements to begin an investigation as is reasonably necessary.
 (3)(b) If an inspection is required, an insurer has 30 days (reduced from 45 days) after receiving proof of loss statements for the insurer to conduct that inspection of the property.
 (3)(e) If an estimate is prepared, the insurer must send the policyholder a copy of the estimate within 7 days after the estimate is generated by the adjuster.
 Notice of Claims
 Section 627.70132 reduces the time to report a claim or reopened claim from 2 years after the date of loss to 1 year. The time to report a supplemental claim is reduced from 3 years after the date of loss to 18 months. This change affects both admitted and surplus lines carriers doing business in Florida.
 Breach of Contract Necessary for Bad Faith
 Florida Statutes Section 624.155 permits bad faith claims under first-party property insurance policies. This section has been replaced with the following:
 Notwithstanding any provision of s. 624.155 to the contrary, in any claim for extracontractual damages under s. 624.155(1)(b), no action shall lie until a named or omnibus insured, or a named beneficiary has established through an adverse adjudication by a court of law that the property insurer breached the insurance contract, and a final judgment or decree has been rendered against the insurer. Acceptance of an offer of judgment under s. 768.79 or the payment of an appraisal award does not constitute an adverse adjudication under this section. The difference between an insurer’s appraiser’s final estimate and the appraisal award may be evidence of bad faith under s. 624.155(1)(b) but is not deemed an adverse adjudication under this section and does not, on its own, give rise to a cause of action.
  Christina May Bolin is an FDCC Defense Counsel Member and Chair of the FDCC Property Insurance Section. She contributes regularly to the Section’s monthly case law update. She is also a Partner, Christian & Small, LLP, Daphne, AL.
Contact her at:

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