1. FLORIDA
  • Exotic Motorcars and Jewelry, Inc. v. Essex Insurance Company (Fla. 4th DCA). Final judgment entered in favor of surplus lines insurer in coverage dispute in action for declaratory judgment and breach of contract reversed and remanded to trial court for entry of an amended final judgment with findings. The Fourth District Court of Appeal found that the judgment was incapable of a meaningful review because it contained no findings of fact, conclusions of law, or other indication of the basis for the trial court’s ruling.
  • Florida Insurance Guaranty Association v. Karelas (Fla. 3rd DCA). Homeowners’ insurance. Florida Insurance Guaranty Association (“FIGA”) liable for homeowners’ insurance claim where original policy was issued by a surplus lines insurer, but subsequent to issuance, the surplus lines insurer was acquired and merged into a Florida domestic insurer subject to FIGA, and which acceded to all of the surplus lines insurer’s outstanding contractual obligations. Date of claim occurred after acquisition and merger by the Florida domestic insurer, which later became insolvent. Third District Court of Appeal held that section 631.54(6), Fla. Stat. is unambiguous and an insolvent insurer subject to the FIGA is a member insurer authorized to transact insurance in Florida either at the time the policy was issued or when the insured event occurred.
  • Goheagan v. American Vehicle Insurance Company (Fla. 4th DCA). Automobile insurance/bad faith. Common law bad faith action against insurer by plaintiff who was assignee of insured and personal representative of estate of individual who lapsed into coma and ultimately died as result of catastrophic injuries sustained in automobile accident where insured rear-ended decedent's vehicle. Summary judgment in favor of insurer reversed and case remanded to trial court. The Fourth District Court of Appeal determined that the trial court erred in granting summary judgment based on its assumption there could be no bad faith because the claimant was in a coma and therefore there was no one to whom to make an offer.
  • No Georgia decisions reported.
  • Matthews v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. (Ga. 11th Cir.). Homeowners’ insurance/breach of contract and bad faith. Plaintiffs sued for contract breach and bad faith arising from falling tree damage to their home and later water damage to the home, after the insurer paid the value of the cost to repair the scope of tree damage found by plaintiffs’ retained engineer, but did not pay significantly higher damage estimates rendered by general contractors, whose estimates were not based on the engineering reports and included repairs beyond the scope of damage identified by engineers who inspected the tree damage. The district court granted summary judgment to the insurer on the contract breach and bad faith claims. The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s judgment. It held that plaintiffs adduced no admissible evidence to substantiate a claim that the scope of damages caused by the fallen trees or the cost to repair those damages exceeded what the insurer paid. It also held that plaintiffs were not entitled to recover for subsequent water damage because they never filed a separate claim for it, as required by the policy, and because there was no evidence that the water damage was related to the earlier covered tree-damage loss. Applying Georgia’s test for bad faith (lack of any reasonable grounds for the insurer to contest the claim), the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s summary judgment for the insurer on plaintiffs’ bad faith claim.
    1.  FLORIDA
  • Proposed Rule and Regulation Chapter 120-2-101 – Child Only Individual Health Coverage. The Georgia Office of the Commissioner of lnsurance (“GA “OCI”) held a public hearing on December 7, 2012, 9:00 a.m., Hearing Room of the Office of Commissioner of Insurance, Seventh Floor, West Tower, Floyd Building, Two Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, Atlanta, GA. to add new Rule and Regulation 120-2-101 to implement recent changes to Title 33 resulting from the passage of House Bill 1166 during the most recent session of the Georgia General Assembly. Click here for the full text of proposed Rule and Regulation 120-2-101.