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Florida Third DCA rules in first-party property insurance case that trial court order compelling appraisal was premature, finding that property owner filed lawsuit contesting appraisal of damages without first engaging in “meaningful exchange of information” to substantiate the existence of a genuine disagreement

On May 4, 2022, in Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s et al, v. Lago Grande 5-D Condominium Association, Inc., No. 3D21-636, a first-party property insurance case in which a property owner filed suit against its insurer alleging underpayment of an insurance claim and moved to compel an appraisal under the terms of the insurance policy. The Florida Third DCA reversed the trial court ruling which had ordered the appraisal. The Third DCA concluded that it was premature to compel an appraisal because the property owner had filed its lawsuit without first demanding that such an appraisal be performed or providing sufficient notice to the insurance company that there was a genuine disagreement about the amount of the loss. The Third DCA cited Redlhammer v. ASI Preferred Ins. Corp., 47 Fla. L. Weekly D52 at *1 (Fla. 3d DCA Dec. 29, 2021) (“[i]n an unbroken line of cases, this Court has held that appraisal is premature when one party has not provided a meaningful exchange of information sufficient to substantiate the existence of a genuine disagreement”).