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Florida Fourth DCA rejects class action certification for Geico policyholders who allegedly executed online waivers of UM coverage

On November 12, 2020, in Coccaro v. Geico General Insurance Company, No. 4D19-3665, the Florida Fourth DCA affirmed the trial courts’ denial of class certification in a proposed class action lawsuit  in which the proposed statewide class would be comprised of Geico policyholders who rejected or lowered uninsured/underinsured (UM) motorist coverage through Geico’s online signature process.  Two previous decisions, Jervis v. Castaneda, 243 So. 3d 996 (Fla. 4th DCA 2018) and Geico Indemnity Co. v. Perez, 260 So. 3d 342 (Fla. 3d DCA 2018) determined that Geico’s online rejection process as it existed prior to 2013 failed to comply with the requirements of Fla. Stat. § 627.727, which if properly followed would have entitled the insurer to a conclusive statutory presumption that a binding waiver had occurred.  In the instant case, the proposed class encompassed customers who purchased policies between 2010 and 2016. However, the Fourth DCA noted that Geico’s online signature procedure changed twice during the relevant time frame, so the relevant facts as to the proposed class members differed depending on when they purchased a policy. The Court noted that the class action typicality requirement is defeated if a defendant has a unique defense to the class representative’s claim citing Miami Auto. Retail, Inc. v. Baldwin, 97 So. 3d 846, 853-54 (Fla. 3d DCA 2012).

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