Insurer Fails to Establish Prejudice Due to Late Notice

Businesswoman looking worried next to clock

The insureds' home suffered water damage due to Hurricane Irma around September 10, 2017.

October 17, 2022
Tred R. Eyerly - Insurance Law Hawaii

Summary judgment awarded to the insurer was reversed because the insurer presented no evidence of prejudice caused by untimely notice. Perez v. Citizens Prop. Ins. Corp., 2022 Fla. App. LEXIS 5435 (Fla. Ct. App. Aug. 10, 2022).

The insureds' home suffered water damage due to Hurricane Irma around September 10, 2017. A claim was submitted to Citizens on November 27, 2018. Citizens had an independent adjuster inspect, but then denied the claim due to untimely notice.

The insureds sued and Citizens moved for summary judgment. Citizens argued it was prejudiced because it could not confirm the cause of the loss or the property damage attributed to it.

The court agreed that the insureds' notice was untimely. The insureds were notified by tenants renting the property that leaks appeared around the time of Hurriane Irma. The policy language, however, placed the burden to rebut the presumption of prejudice caused by late notice on Citizens. Whether the insurer was prejudiced was a question of fact. Citizens failed to demonstrate any prejudice due to the untimely notice.

Mr. Eyerly may be contacted at te@hawaiilawyer.com



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