In first-party breach of insurance contract actions, the parties oftentimes dispute whether the policyholder may seek damages that are not explicitly provided for in the policy, with the policyholder arguing such indirect damages flow from the alleged breach of contract.LitigationProperty
By doing so, policyholders blur the lines between breach of contract actions and bad faith actions.
The Florida Supreme Court recently considered this issue in Citizens Property Insurance Corp. v. Manor House, LLC, and held that ‘extra-contractual, consequential damages are not available in a first-party breach of insurance contract action because the contractual amount due to the insured is the amount owed pursuant to the express terms and conditions of the insurance policy.’
Manor House arose from a Hurricane Frances insurance claim filed by an owner of apartment buildings. Citizens issued payments totaling approximately $1.9 million.
Approximately nineteen months after the loss, Manor House’s public adjuster asked Citizens to reopen the claim. After reopening the claim, Citizens made additional payments and continued its adjustment.