Third District Court of Appeal Rules No Prejudgment Interest Due After Timely Payment of Appraisal Award
By Douglas M. Cohen
In Citizens Property Insurance Corporation v. Avill James, James, a Citizens’ insured filed a claim for water damage to his home. Citizens timely issued payment. James asserted that the payment amount was inadequate. James filed suit and moved to compel appraisal. Citizens agreed and the parties proceeded to appraisal. The appraisal panel entered an award, which Citizens paid two days later. James filed a Motion for Summary Judgment, which the trial court granted, finding James was entitled to prejudgment interest on the appraisal award.
On appeal, the 3rd DCA held that to be entitled to prejudgment interest, James was required to show that Citizens denied his claim before later admitting coverage. The 3rd DCA held that since the record and pleadings did not show that Citizens denied coverage, but rather disagreed as to the scope and price of the loss, it was entitled to pay the appraisal award pursuant to the policy without being subject to prejudgment interest.