Insurer’s Claim File Not Categorically Privileged
A recent appeal (petition for a writ of certiorari) in a property insurance coverage dispute supports two important points regarding discovery disputes in insurance coverage cases, particularly regarding an insurer’s claim file.
First, “certiorari review is appropriate for discovery dispute orders requiring production of allegedly privileged documents.” Homeowners Choice Property & Casualty Ins. Co., Inc. v. Thompson, 48 Fla.L.Weekly D2218e (Fla. 1st DCA 2023).
Second, there is NOT a categorical privilege on an insurer’s claims files. “Documents in claims and underwriting files are not automatically work product. The insurer did not argue or prove that the requested documents were prepared in anticipation of litigation; and to the contrary, the documents ordered produced were created just days after the hurricane [subject of the insurance coverage dispute] and before any coverage determination had occurred.” Thompson, supra.
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