... OR BY ORDER DISMISS THEM?
The true story of how to handle unripe first-party bad faith claims in Florida.
Florida law requires that the policyholder or other insured prevail on the question of whether there is insurance coverage for a given claim, before there can legally be a claim for first-party bad faith. (In Florida, every first-party bad faith claim is statutory. There is no common law of first-party bad faith in Florida.)
A claim for first-party bad faith filed before coverage is determined is called "unripe". There is a question whether a Court applying Florida law should abate an unripe first-party bad faith claim in a case before the Courrt, or dismiss the unripe claim without prejudice.
At least in some Federal Courts in the Middle District of Florida, the emerging answer is to abate. See Smith v. 21st Century Centennial Insurance Co., 2014 WL 5474591 *1 (M.D. Fla. October 29, 2014).
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