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Florida First DCA holds that documents from insurance company’s underwriting file were not subject to disclosure in first party breach of contract action

On July 19, 2021, in American Integrity Insurance Company of Florida v. Venable, No. 1D20-727, a case involving a disputed denial of coverage under a homeowner’s insurance policy, the Florida First DCA granted the certiorari petition of the defendant insurance company and partially quashed a trial court order which had required the insurance company to produce documents from its underwriting file in discovery. The First DCA cited precedent for its position that claims files and underwriting files are not subject to disclosure in a breach of contract action. See Seminole Cas. Ins. Co. v. Mastrominas, 6 So. 3d 1256, 1258 (Fla. 2d DCA 2009). The First DCA also noted that the trial court erred by failing to allow the insurance company reasonable time after the court had ruled on the non-privilege objections to file its privilege log addressing the subject documents, citing See Avatar Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co. v. Jones, 291 So. 3d 663, 667-668 (Fla. 2d DCA 2020). However, the First DCA did uphold a provision of the trial court order requiring the disclosure of documents in the underwriting manuals which had already been publicly disclosed by the insurance company in filings with the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation.

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