Florida Supreme Court Rules on State Farm Versus Hybrid Policy
Industry: Legal Services
William McFarlane Law responds to the Supreme Court of Florida’s ruling on what payment options insurers can pursue.
Palm City, FL (PRUnderground) August 23rd, 2022
The Supreme Court of Florida has recently ruled in MRI Associates of Tampa, Inc. vs. State Farm Automobile Insurance Company in favor of State Farm. And William McFarlane Law sees positive implications for all insurance companies within the state.
Florida’s Supreme Court issued the opinion on a lawsuit that was previously heard by the 2nd District Court of Appeals. The appellate court initially heard the case in 2018, and the Supreme Court’s opinion came at the end of 2021.
Per the Supreme Court’s opinion, insurers can rely on the maximum charges schedule found in F.S. §627.736(5)(a)(1), provided that an insurance policy relies on the same schedule. The policy, of course, also must provide its policyholder with proper notice.
Most importantly, choosing the fee schedule doesn’t preclude insurance companies from additionally pursuing reasonableness factors as found in 627.736(5)(a). Insurers are free to simultaneously pursue these, so long as they use methods that comply with the regulation.
A hybrid combination of the two methods can be used. The ruling isn’t limited to automobile insurers, but presumably will serve as precedent for all insurance policies issued within Florida.
The attorneys at William McFarlane Law see this ruling as a strong decision in favor of insurers. As an attorney from the firm explains, “The ruling affords insurance companies flexibility in how they pursue fees, and flexibility is always beneficial. Our compliance team anticipates recommending dual pursuit via both methods in many situations.”
The opinion was No. SC18-1390 and issued on December 9, 2021.
About McFarlane & Dolan
McFarlane Law is an aggressive Insurance Litigation Defense Firm which defends and protects the rights of the insurance industry. At McFarlane Law we believe that the best defense is a good offense. We aggressively defend all claims from their inception through the appellate Courts. At McFarlane Law we maintain the highest degree of professionalism while aggressively defending the rights of the insurance industry. At McFarlane Law we seek creative and aggressive solutions in an effort to deter future litigation.