Lights, Camera, Action: Florida Court Rules Insureds Can Record Valuation Inspection – Real Estate and Construction

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United States: Lights, camera, action: court rulings in Florida: insured persons can record a valuation inspection

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On July 7, 2021, the Florida Fourth District Court of Appeals ruled that an insured could electronically capture an insurer’s appraiser during an inspection of the insured’s property. The case is Silversmith v. State Farm Ins. Co., 2021 WL 2910240, 4D20-2685 (4th DCA July 7, 2021).

The case occurred after an insured person filed a property insurance claim. The insurer applied for the damage to be examined in accordance with the assessment rule of the insurance policy. The insured brought an action to determine that he had the right to electronically record the insurer’s appraiser when inspecting their property. The insured requested a summary judgment. The court dismissed the motion, ruling that Florida privacy laws prohibited eavesdropping on certain oral conversations and that all participants involved must consent to an electronic recording of the assessment.

The appellate court disagreed, ruling that privacy concerns do not apply when the insurer’s appraiser is on the insured’s property because the appraiser does not have legitimate confidence in privacy when conducting an appraisal on the insured’s property. Thus, Florida law does not prevent the insured person from electronically recording the appraiser. In addition, the appeals court found that nothing in the insurance policy prohibited inclusion.

The appellate report does not address whether an insurer could include wording in an insurance policy that would prevent an insured person from electronically recording an appraisal review.

The content of this article is intended to provide general guidance on the subject. Expert advice should be sought regarding your specific circumstances.

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