We have really beat the structural damage issue to death but yet it seems to never actually die. Still, despite numerous rulings otherwise, some insurance companies still apply the new law to claims and/or policies that pre-date the changes in the law. Liberty Mutual in particular has outright taken the position that no matter when the claim was filed or when the contract was signed, you must prove structural damage to have a covered loss. The argument is that Liberty Mutual believes that it must comply with the Florida statutes which govern how you investigate a sinkhole claim. The position of Liberty Mutual is that the statute, when changed, now only requires that an insurance company test for structural damage initially and if no structural damage is found, then they do no have to look any further.
The problems arises when you look at the policy. This is not all about testing. It is all about coverage. The insurance policy tells you what coverage you have and the insurance policy does not say you have to meet the stringent requirements of proving structural damage as Liberty Mutual contends. Plus, there are numerous cases out there, some we have discussed on this blog, that talk about applying the new law retroactively. The consensus is you can not do it. Clearly applying the new law results in dramatic substantive changes to your claim and substantive changes can not be applied retro actively. If you have a similar situation with Liberty Mutual or any other insurance company, give us a call to discuss your rights.