American Capital Assurance Corp. v. Leeward Bay at Tarpon Bay Condominium Association, Inc.
An appellate court in Florida upheld a lower court’s ruling when they rejected an insurer’s argument that the lower court erred when they ordered appraisal before settling a coverage dispute. In the destructive wake of Hurricane Irma the insurer, American Capital Assurance Corp., agreed to cover $76,000 in losses to their insured, the Leeward Bay at Tarpon Bay Condo Association. When Leeward Bay presented proof of loss totalling $8.1 million, American Capital disputed coverage. The appellate court pointed to the fact that American had already admitted coverage with the original valuation of $76,000, ruling that they cannot now dispute this by claiming, among other things, fraud on the part of the insured simply because they disagree with the amount of loss. The District Court of Appeal for the Second District of Florida also added that, in Florida, once a court has determined that a claim for appraisal is ripe, the court can determine in which order coverage and appraisal disputes are tackled.