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Where Claimaint Under Personal Line or Commercial Residential Policy Requests Mediation Which Is Unsuccessful, Insurer May Proceed With Contractual Appraisal Process

Thursday, May, 24, 2012

The Fifth District has found that an administrative rule impermissibly modifies and enlarges section 627.7015, Fla. Stat., which provides for the mediation of claims under personal lines and commercial residential policies before commencement of the appraisal process or litigation.  See State Farm Florida Ins. Co. v. Unlimited Restoration Specialists, Inc., No. 5D11-2456 (Fla. 5th DCA Mar. 23, 2012).  Under section 627.7015, the insurer waives its contractual appraisal rights only where it fails to notify the insured of the right to mediation, or where the insurer itself requests mediation and mediation is unsuccessful.  However, Rule 69B–166.031(10)(c) of the Florida Administrative Code impermissibly allows the insured the option of whether to proceed with appraisal following an unsuccessful mediation that the insured, itself, requested.
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