There is ostensibly a big difference between an insurance carrier DENYING coverage and simply asking for additional information, as permitted under the post-loss conditions of a property (first-party) insurance policy, right? Typically, the answer is yes and there is a big difference. If an insured refuses to comply with post-loss conditions under their insurance policy, they are shooting themselves in the foot (in most cases) by giving the insurer an out when it comes to coverage. If an insurance carrier denies coverage, however, the insurance carrier cannot then require its insured to comply with post-loss conditions in the property insurance policy.
In a recent decision, Ifergane v. Citizens Property Ins. Corp., 42 Fla. L. Weekly D12198a (Fla. 3d DCA 2017), the appellate court held that there was a factual issue as to whether a letter sent by the insurer constituted a denial of coverage versus a request for additional information per the post-loss policy conditions in the property insurance policy. This was a significant issue because the appellate court, in a prior appeal in the same case, found that the insured’s non-compliance with participating in an examination under oath would preclude coverage under the property insurance policy. But, if it turns out that the insurer actually denied coverage first, then the insurer, as a matter of law, waived its right to enforce post-loss policy conditions in the property insurance policy such as requiring the insured to participate in an examination under oath.
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