INSURANCE: HOMEOWNER’S INSURANCE: SINKHOLE: INSURED IS NOT BOUND BY SCOPE OF REPAIRS RECOMMENDED BY INSURER’S ENGINEER; CIVIL PROCEDURE: SUMMARY JUDGMENT: SUMMARY JUDGMENT FOR INSURER REVERSED BECAUSE THE PARTIES’ ENGINEERS DISAGREED ABOUT THE SCOPE OF APPRORIATE REPAIRS TO REMEDIATE SINKHOLE LOSS

Roker v. Tower Hill Preferred Insurance Company, ___ So. 3d ___, 40 Fla. L. Weekly D764 (Fla. 2d DCA March 27, 2015)

When the insured’s engineer disagreed with the insurer’s engineer about the scope of appropriate repairs to remediate the insured’s sinkhole loss, the insurer invoked neutral appraisal, and the appraiser substantially agreed with the insurer’s engineer. As a result, the insurer refused to pay for the insured’s repair protocol, and the insured sued for breach of contract. The trial court entered summary judgment for the insurer, but the appellate court reversed. The recommendations of the insurer’s engineer are not binding upon the insured; otherwise, neutral appraisal would be superfluous, and even neutral appraisal is not binding upon the insured. It would be unconstitutional to make the recommendations of the insurer’s engineer irrebuttable. In this case, a bona fide disagreement existed between the parties, precluding adjudication of the dispute by summary judgment.

To read more briefs in the Insurance: Homeowner’s Insurance category of the Kashi Law Letter, please click here, http://www.kashilawletter.com/category/insurance/homeowners-insurance/.

To read more briefs in the Insurance: Sinkhole category, please click here,  http://www.kashilawletter.com/category/insurance/sinkhole/.

To read more briefs in the Civil Procedure: Judgment category of the Kashi Law Letter, please click here, http://www.kashilawletter.com/category/civil-procedure/judgment/.