Insurance contracts are agreements between an insurance company and an insured, known as a policy holder, which determines the types of claims an insurance company agrees to either pay, indemnity, or defend. The policy holder will typically pay the insurance company a premium for that insurance coverage.
For instance, if you want insurance to protect your car, or home, from a loss, one will agree to pay an insurance company a premium in exchange for that protection.
Florida has enacted certain laws governing cancellations of insurance policies. Insurance companies need to strictly comply with those laws when attempting to cancel an insurance policy.
If your insurance policy was cancelled, it begs the question – did you receive notice that your insurance contract was cancelled? Our firm has handled improper cancellation claims and if you feel as though your insurance policy was improperly cancelled you should contact us to discuss your claim further.
The Third District Court of Appeal was recently confronted with determining whether or not there was applicable insurance coverage to compensate the Estate of a young man who died in a tragic motorcycle accident. The issue focused on whether or not the insurance company had properly mailed out its notice of cancellation to the policy holder.
Rodriguez v. Security National Insurance Co., Inc., 2014 WL 1696186 (Fla 3rd DCA 2014) stems from a car accident, which resulted in the death of Mr. Rodriguez’s son. The accident was caused by a driver insured by Security National Insurance Co (SNIC).
SNIC argued that there was no applicable insurance coverage in place because it had properly cancelled the insurance contract for non-payment. Rodriguez, on the other hand, argued that that SNIC’s notice was defective. Specifically, the notice was not mailed to the specific apartment where the policy holder lived as evidenced by the actual notice of cancellation where it was devoid of any apartment number.
The trial judge agreed with SNIC and granted summary judgment in SNIC’s favor and against Mr. Rodriguez for wrongful death, breach of contract, enforcement of judgment, and bad faith in denying coverage. An appeal followed.
On appeal, the appellate court noted that SNIC sent two notices to the insured that his policy was going to expire and also sent a notice to the insured once it had expired. Rodriguez argues, however, that these notices were never received due to the lack of an apartment number.
The court analyzed Fla. Stat. 627.728 and concluded that the apartment was not listed on the initial application. Therefore, the insurance company did not have to mail the notice to the apartment since the policy holder never let the insurance company know, during the application process, of his apartment number.
If the policy holder had simply placed his apartment number on the application he would have had coverage. But since he failed to list his actual apartment number, he jeopardized his insurance coverage since he never received copies of any of the notices of cancellation that SNIC mailed to him.