Our Miami-Dade County homeowners coverage attorneys recognize that bad faith claims pose special challenges because the issues of liability and damages must be bifurcated in a separate legal proceeding from the first-party bad faith action. Fortunately, this does not mean that an insured must obtain a breach of contract verdict or settlement before moving forward with the bad faith lawsuit. Forms of alternative dispute resolution can constitute a sufficient determination of liability and damages to permit a bad faith action to move forward against recalcitrant homeowners insurers.
In the 2nd District Court of Appeal of Florida case, Hunt v. State Farm Florida Insurance Company, the court considered a bad faith claim brought by a homeowner based on the insurer’s failure to cover a claim related to sinkhole activity. The trial court granted the insurance company’s motion for summary judgment based on the failure of the policyholder to satisfy a condition precedent before filing a bad faith action and a lack of adequate notice under the civil remedy notice (CRN) statute. Continue reading →