CHANGES ARE COMING FOR CIVIL REMEDY NOTICES
House Bill 301 is before the Senate and specifically addresses what is known as a CRN or Civil Remedy Notice. In Florida, if you have facts to support that your insurance claim has been handled in bad faith, you must file a Civil Remedy Notice, or CRN for short, pursuant to Florida Statute Section 624.155. Once this form is filed, it allows the insurance company 60 days to correct any of the violations. This is also a pre-condition to filing a bad faith lawsuit. House Bill 301 seeks to change Florida Statute Section 624.155 as it relates to appraisals by adding the following language:
“A notice required under this subsection may not be filed within 60 days
after appraisal is invoked by any party in a residential property insurance claim.”
Therefore, based on this new language, if the law is amended, a policyholder could not file a civil remedy notice within 60 days after appraisal is invoked. However, notice that this proposed change only applies to residential property claims and not commercial.
The key here is the demand for appraisal. Not all but most insurance policies contain the appraisal provision. This provision generally provides as follows:
In case the Insured and this Company shall fail to agree as to the actual cash value or the amount of loss, then, on the written demand of either, each shall select a competent and disinterested appraiser and notify the other of the appraiser selected within twenty days of each demand. The appraisers shall first select a competent and disinterested umpire; and failing for fifteen days to agree upon such umpire, then, on request of the Insured or this Company, such umpire shall be selected by a judge of a court of record in the state I which the property covered is located. The appraisers shall then appraise the loss, stating separately actual cash value and loss to each item; and, failing to agree, shall submit their differences, only, to the umpire. An award in writing, so itemized, of any two when filed with this Company shall determine the amount of actual cash value and loss. Each appraiser shall be paid by the party selecting him and the expenses of appraisal and umpire shall be paid by the parties equally.
The appraisal process is not like a real estate appraisal where they determine how much your home would sell for but is instead an alternative means to resolve your suit. If any two of the three agree as to the amount to be paid for the loss, then the appraisal award is binding on everyone.
With the proposed change, if you have an insurance claim on a home and either you or the insurance company demands appraisal, you must wait 60 days from the date the appraisal is invoked to file a civil remedy notice. If you believe the claim is being conducted in bad faith, it may be wise to file a civil remedy notice before appraisal is demanded. If not, you can still file a civil remedy notice 60 days after the demand for appraisal was made. Here at Christopher Ligori & Associates, we file free CRN’s for people in an effort to do everything we can to assist you. If you need a CRN filed, contact us, we can send you a questionnaire to fill out and we will get it filed within 24 hours after we have all the information we need at no cost to you. Make sure your preserve your rights.