Legal Topics


Sep 18th, 2022 in by admin

The Kidwell Group v. Olympus Insurance Co., 47 Fla. L. Weekly D1571 (Fla. 5th DCA Jul. 22, 2022):

A wind storm damaged the insured’s home. She reported the damage to her insurer.

She then executed an assignment of benefits in favor of the plaintiff, Kidwell, who submitted an invoice to the insurer, and later filed suit when the insurer failed to make the payment.

The insurance company moved to dismiss, arguing that the assignment failed to comply with Section 627.7152.

Kidwell argued that the insurance policy was issued before the effective date of the statute, and because the statute did not indicate that it applied retroactively to the policy, it did not apply (and argued that a retroactive application would be unconstitutional anyway).

Both the trial and appellate courts concluded that this argument was without merit, because the operative date for purposes of the statute was the date of the assignment, not the date the insurance policy was issued. Section 627.7152 provides a list of requirements for any agreement that assigns post-loss benefits under a property insurance policy, and the failure to comply with those terms makes the assignment invalid and unenforceable.

The court observed that the Fourth District ruled similarly, and rejected Kidwell’s reliance on a trial court decision from the Middle District of Florida which addressed an assignment to attorney’s fees. The Fifth District explained that the assignment in this case was invalid and unenforceable because Kidwell had indisputably failed to comply with Section 627.7152. As a result, it never successfully stepped into the shoes of the insured, forcing the court to affirm the dismissal of the complaint.