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Florida Fourth DCA rules that whether plaintiff had given “prompt” notice of claim to defendant property insurer as required under insurance contract was jury question not subject to resolution by summary judgment

On December 9, 2020, in Restoration Construction, LLC, v. Safepoint Insurance Company, No. 4D19-3790, the Florida Fourth DCA reversed a trial court’s summary judgment for the defendant insurer in a first party property insurance dispute. The plaintiff had delayed five days in notifying the defendant insurer of a water leak, but the insurer waited another five days before sending out an adjuster and then an additional two weeks before engaging an inspector to help assess the claim.   The trial court found that that the insureds’ delay in reporting their insurance claim to the insurer was a failure to satisfy one of the post-loss contractual obligations contained in their policy. On appeal, the Fourth DCA observed that the determination of whether an insured provides “prompt” notice of a loss to an insurer is a material issue of fact as it may affect the insurer’s coverage decision, citing Himmel v. Avatar Prop. & Cas. Ins., 257 So. 3d 488, 492 (Fla. 4th DCA 2018) (“the issue of whether an insured provided ‘prompt’ notice generally presents an issue of fact”). Under the facts of this case, the Fourth DCA concluded that issue of whether the notice was untimely was a contested question of fact for the jury to resolve.

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