Insurer required to turn over documents in Hurricane Sally claim dispute
Palatka Daily News (FL)
An appeals court Wednesday rejected arguments by a property-insurance company that it should not have to turn over some documents in a lawsuit about damage to a Pensacola home in Hurricane Sally.
Property owners Thomas and Lisa Thompson received estimates of more than $285, 000 to repair wind damage caused by the 2020 storm. The lawsuit came after Homeowners Choice Property & Casualty Insurance Co. "initially determined the net payable loss was only $2,058, asserting that the damage was mostly ordinary wear and tear, improper construction, or the result of other causes the policy did not cover," according to Wednesday's decision by a panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal.
The insurer fought turning over documents, citing what is known as a "work-product privilege," which generally involves shielding information that could be used in litigation.
The appeals court panel, however, upheld a circuit-court ruling that the insurer was required to turn over some of the disputed documents, such as an adjuster's logs, photos from an initial home inspection and documents related to an early evaluation of the claim.