In a recent property insurance dispute, Chavez v. Tower Hill Insurance Company, 44 Fla. L. Weekly D2019b (Fla. 3d DCA 2019), an insured previously sued his property insurer and lost. The insured then filed a new suit against his property insurer for the same damages. The trial court, affirmed by the appellate court, held that res judicata applied to bar the insured’s new lawsuit against the insurer. The insured tried to argue that res judicata should not apply because the new lawsuit was predicated on a supplemental claim, as there is law that res judicata does not apply if the new lawsuit concerns a supplemental claim.
An issue on appeal concerned what actually constitutes a supplemental property insurance claim. The appellate court stated: “We agree with the learned trial court that a supplemental claim means an additional claim made after an insured has actually undertaken or commenced repairs arising out of damages for a covered loss and after the insurer has tendered initial payment based upon its determination of actual cash value.” Chavez, supra.
Thus, for there to be a supplemental claim, the insured has to actually undertake repairs.
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