An appeals court in Florida has affirmed the ability of policyholders to assign employees a right to receive benefits from an insurance settlement, rejecting decisions of the trial court in favor of insurers.
In December, the Florida 3rd District Court of Appeals ruled that by including the assignment of benefits limitation in the contract for insurance versus the policy, an insurer will not get around a century of case law. The appeal panel ruled that the application is part of the Florida law policy, and since 1917, courts have maintained that an insurance contract does not strip away the right of a policyholder to assign benefits following a loss.
The case involved an insurer that was billed nearly $18,500 for repairs made to a home owned by a Homestead couple. The company declined to pay, citing, in the signed insurance application, the anti-assignment clause. A judge acknowledged the insurer’s claim that this situation is special, contrary to prior decisions that affirmed the ability of policyholders to allocate coverage because the provision was agreed by the parties.
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