Bressler attorneys, Hope Zelinger and Kavita Ramkissoon, worked alongside SafePoint Insurance Company to uncover evidence of fraudulent conduct and material misrepresentations made by a homeowner and her loss consultant, which the court agreed voided coverage under a homeowner’s insurance policy issued by SafePoint. After SafePoint received notice of a claim for wide-spread damages stemming from an upstairs bathroom plumbing loss, it fully investigated the claim and denied coverage based on the damages being long-term in nature and not covered by the Policy. Thereafter, the Insured filed suit and SafePoint retained Bressler to advocate for and defend its interests. As a result of a collaborative effort between SafePoint and Bressler, Bressler attorneys were able to expose that the Insured’s claim was riddled with material misrepresentations about her damages and as a result, was a clear violation of the policy provision excluding coverage if the Insured makes material false statements related to the loss.
Bressler attorneys were able to artfully demonstrate to the trial court that the Insured turned a blind-eye to her loss consultant’s estimate that wrongfully included unrelated areas of the property. The Plaintiff’s execution of the Sworn Proof of Loss Statement attesting to the damages and the Plaintiffs repeated reference to the inflated estimate further supported SafePoint’s position. Following the entry of summary judgment, the Plaintiff attempted to seek a rehearing based on the submission of an untimely affidavit from its Loss Consultant. On November 29, 2019, the Honorable Judge Haimes in Broward County Circuit Court, denied Plaintiff’s request for same.
Because fraudulent homeowner’s insurance claims have increased significantly in South Florida over the past decade and insurance premiums increase based on the number of claims insurance companies receive, the exposure of the Plaintiffs violation of the “Fraud and Concealment” provision, was a huge victory for the industry.