Gena v. Florida Insurance Guaranty Association, ___ So. 3d ___, 37 Fla. L. Weekly D707 (Fla. 1st DCA March 22, 2012)

When the homeowner presented her windstorm claim to FIGA, she was advised to consult with a lawyer because her claim could not be adjusted before the statute of limitations expired.  The homeowner retained a lawyer, who filed a lawsuit for breach of contract.  The parties agreed to submit to appraisal, which resulted in a substantial award to the insured, but the trial court denied the insured’s motion for attorney’s fees, and the appellate court affirmed.  Fees under Section 627.428, Florida Statutes, may not be awarded against FIGA unless FIGA affirmatively denied the insured’s claim by means other than delay.  In this case, FIGA either did not deny the insured’s claim or denied it by delay.  Judge Thomas dissented.