Aspen Claims Service

Florida Appellate Court Holds That Deadline To Report Claims Does Not Nullify Prompt Notice Provision

 Monday, February 6, 2023

 JD Supra

Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal recently affirmed a summary judgment entered in favor of a property insurer, holding that there is no conflict between the policy’s three year limitation for reporting hurricane claims and the requirement that the insured give prompt notice.

In Navarro v. Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, No. 3D22-0032, 2023 WL 219032, -- So.3d -- (Fla. 3d DCA Jan. 18, 2023), the insured sought coverage for Hurricane Irma damage nearly three years after the storm.

The court found that the policy unambiguously required prompt notice, and that the insured failed to rebut the presumption of prejudice against the insurer.

Citizens issued a homeowner’s insurance policy to Pedro Navarro that was in effect when Hurricane Irma allegedly struck Navarro’s home on September 10, 2017.

The policy provided that the insured must report any claim for windstorm or hurricane damage within three years after the date of the windstorm, mirroring the then-requirements under the since-amended Section 627.70132, Florida Statutes. However, the policy separately imposed a duty for the insured to provide ‘prompt notice’ of the loss to the carrier.