The appellate court reversed the jury verdict in favor of the homeowners based upon improper instructions purporting to impose a duty to adjust the claim and how to construe a contract. Citizens Prop. Ins. Corp. v Mendoza, 2018 Fla. App. LEXIS 9497 (Fla. Ct. App. July 5, 2018).
The insureds incurred water damage to their home caused by a water heater leak. After a claim was filed, the insurer sent an adjuster to investigate the claim. The insurer denied the claim due to an exclusion for constant or repeated seepage or leakage.
At trial, the insurer offered testimony that the leak was a continued and repeated seepage of water over a long period of time, which was excluded under the policy, and not a sudden and accidental discharge of water, which would have been covered.