On Wednesday, September 5, a state appeals court ruled that homeowners’ insurance policies may require signatures of all insureds and mortgagees to validate an assignment of claim benefits to a third party. In an article by Law360, many lawyers expressed their concerns that this may have a significant impact on long-standing insurance practices in Florida. Those interviewed also felt that this decision has the ability to hurt small businesses and consumers while favoring the interests of large insurers.
Gunster attorney Ken Bell was tapped to weigh in on the proposed regulations where he stated that he actually agreed with the ruling. Bell mentioned that prior to this decision, common law had often refused to implement the ‘insurer’s consent’ clause because the insurer is not affected. Bell added that he agreed with the Fourth District that any public policy decision to preclude such an “other insureds and mortgagee” condition on assignment of benefits is a topic for the Florida Legislature, not the courts.
Bell currently co-chairs Gunster’s firm wide appellate law practice and is a former Florida Supreme Court Justice, having served from 2002-2008.
Read the full article: Fla. ruling could ‘nix’ homeowner assignments of benefits