INSURANCE: HOMEOWNERS’ INSURANCE: APPRAISAL: ORDER COMPELLING APPRAISAL AFFIRMED BECAUSE INSUREDS SUFFICIENTLY COMPLIED WITH POST LOSS CONDITIONS OF POLICY: INSUREDS WERE NOT REQUIRED TO PROVIDE ADDITIONAL DOCUMENTATION OF DAMAGES BECAUSE THEY WERE CLAIMING THAT THEY HAD NOT BEEN ADEQUATELY COMPENSATED FOR THE DAMAGES THEY ORIGINALLY SUSTAINED RATHER THAN THAT THEY HAD SUSTAINED OR DISCOVERED ADDITIONAL DAMAGES

State Farm Florida Insurance Company v. Cardelles, ___ So. 3d ___, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D504 (Fla. 3d DCA February 25, 2015)

The appellate court affirmed an order requiring the insurer to submit to appraisal of the insureds’ supplemental windstorm claim. The supplemental claim was based upon inadequate compensation for the damages originally sustained rather than the occurrence or discovery of additional damages. The insurer resisted appraisal on the ground that the insureds failed to comply with their post loss conditions under their policy by ignoring requests for “photographic or video evidence of the damages, receipts and documentation of purchases and repairs, bank account statements showing expenditures, and an updated sworn proof of loss,” but the plaintiffs countered that they had nothing to submit because they had yet to make additional repairs. “The trial court found that the supplemental claim was based on the original damages from the [initial] claim rather than additional repairs that had been made, and that the Plaintiffs had no additional documents to provide.” The appellate court held that a trial court may not exercise its discretion to compel appraisal until all post loss obligations have been satisfied, and the trial court in this case did not abuse its discretion by compelling appraisal. “[The insurer] admit[ted] that the Plaintiffs complied with all post-loss obligations immediately following the [loss], and the Plaintiff’s . . . provided [the insurer] with an updated sworn proof of loss detailing all of the damages they [were] claiming. Moreover, because these damages [were] the same as those claimed from the original hurricane damage, [the insurer] already [had] all the required documentation of the damages, and the Plaintiff’s . . . also agreed on many occasions to open their home to [the insurer] for further inspection of the damages.”

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