Saturday, March 28, 2009

Lawsuit Improper Prior to Appraisal of Hurricane Damage

On March 26, 2009, the Eleventh Circuit issued its opinion in the case of Moore v. Travelers Companies, Inc. (08-15842). The court affirmed the district court's decision that the insured failed to state a claim because the insured did not participate in the appraisal process prior to the filing of the lawsuit. The eleventh circuit stated:

Moore’s request for twenty percent general contractor costs in the calculation of actual cash value is a request for an increase in the determination of the loss. It does not relate to coverage in addition to the loss. Therefore, under the terms of the homeowners policy, Moore must first comply with the appraisal provision to determine his amount of loss. He is contractually bound to do so. At that time, he may or may not establish that “twenty percent general contractor costs” be included in the “actual cash value” of his damages.

As no appraisal has as yet taken place to resolve this matter, Moore’s complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. The judgment of the district court is Affirmed.


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