In a recent decision by the U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeal, the Court held that an insured business owner had to reimburse the insurance company for all attorney’s fees and costs that the insurance company paid while defending the insured business owner since no duty to defend existed. See Halikoytakis v. Certain Interested Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London, Case No. 13-12590.
In Halikoytakis, the insurance company agreed to defend its insured under the insured’s liability policy subject to a reservation of all rights, including the right to seek reimbursement of attorney’s fees and costs that the insurance company paid on behalf of the insured.
When you pay thousands of dollars a year in homeowner’s insurance premiums, you are right to expect that if a fire, storm damage, water damage or other catastrophe or loss occurs, your insurer will honor the terms of your policy. Unfortunately, for thousands of Florida residents, this is not the always the case.
The Florida Senate recently passed a bill that would encourage private insurers to offer flood insurance, possibly providing thousands of homeowners with relief from the federal government’s National Flood Insurance Program premiums. The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Jeff Brandes, R- St. Petersburg, said “It is time for Floridians to control our own destiny and lead the nation with a free-market flood insurance program,” as quoted in the Palm Beach Post.
Florida-Based Insurer People’s Trust Insurance Cancels Thousands of Home Policies as Hurricane Season Approaches
People’s Trust Insurance Co. cancelled more than 5,000 home insurance policies prior to the beginning of the 2014 hurricane season, delivering quite a blow to homeowners across Florida.
In mid-March, the federal government passed a bill repealing a provision it made just two years ago that established huge flood insurance premium increases for Florida property owners with homes on or near the coast. The 2012 provision, which called for sweeping changes to the federal flood insurance program, is all but canceled out by the new revisions.
Home and commercial property owners in Florida have faced an unfriendly legal environment when confronted with sinkhole damage. Dealing with an insurance company is rarely simple, and this truth was exacerbated by state laws requiring property owners to demonstrate “structural damage” in order to have a compensable insurance claim.
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