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Florida First DCA reverses trial court’s venue transfer, rules that car insurance policy provision requiring policy coverage disputes to be litigated “where the policy was issued”is ambiguous and must be construed against the insurer

On May 4, 2021, in Robles v. United Automobile Insurance Company, No. 1D20-1335, the Florida First DCA reversed a trial court order transferring a motor vehicle first-party insurance declaratory judgment action from Escambia County, where the insured plaintiff lived, to Miami-Dade County, where the insurer has its headquarters. The trial court had transferred the action based on a policy provision requiring that any lawsuit be filed and maintained “where the policy was issued.” The First DCA found the policy provision ambiguousand determined that it must be “construed liberally in favor of the insured and strictly against the insurer,” quoting Grissom v. Com. Union Ins. Co., 610 So. 2d 1299, 1304 (Fla. 1st DCA 1992).