There will be several big questions that will arise and will be hashed out over the next six months or so in the aftermath of Bill 408. The first big question we will await to have answered is which insurance carriers are going to be bold enough to argue that Bill 408 should be retroactively applied? The first contestant has come on down and the losers are Tower Hill insureds. We have heard through several hand full of sources that Tower Hill plans on taking a shot at arguing that the new bill can be retroactively applied. In particular, Tower Hill is exploring the idea of going back in time and withdrawing or denying coverage for existing claims. We do not know how far yet they will take this movement on claims that have already been tested and found to have sinkhole activity. We believe this creates a world of issues from constitutionality to estoppel or waiver if they have already accepted coverage and then later deny it based upon a new statute that may or may not be retroactive. We do know that from this day forward Tower Hill is planning on applying the new law to all claims either being filed or still being investigated. They have even gone as far as to instruct their own experts to stop all sinkhole investigations and instead just perform a structural evaluation. We have no doubt that those people, who would have had coverage last week, now will be denied coverage altogether without even testing. Hey Rick Scott and Senator Richter, see what you started already? We will see over the next several months which other carriers have the gall to follow the lead of Tower Hill.
May 23, 2011 by Morgan Barfield