Consumer Protection Law
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I am sorry to learn of this issue. From what you have posted, it appears that the negligent party was the COA insurance agent. His E&O policy should cover this loss.
His "misplacing" the properly tendered check from the COA was the proximate cause of the COA's lapse in insurance and your inability to get coverage.
If a demand letter against the insurance agent does not produce results (a "pre-litigation demand letter") you can file a lawsuit for negligence against him. You may need to involve the COA as the real party in interest if you need to file a lawsuit, but I would advise consulting with a local attorney prior to filing this suit - it would be necessary to review these policies in order to make the appropriate strategic plan.
Unfortunately, I am not permitted to give specific referrals on this forum. I can however give you a couple of sites that will be helpful in locating a local attorney. You can find attorneys on your State Bar Association’s website: (http://www.floridabar.org/tfb/TFBConsum.nsf/840090c16eedaf0085256b61000928dc/ec2322e512b83d1e85256b2f006cc812?OpenDocument); Martindale Hubble: (http://www.martindale.com/); or, on AVVO: (http://www.avvo.com/find-a-lawyer).
To keep costs down, I recommend finding an attorney that is working in a small firm or as a solo practitioner. A newer attorney usually charges slightly less than a more experienced attorney, while the more experienced attorneys are usually a little more efficient. In the end, you need to find an attorney that you feel comfortable with, and it is okay to speak with more than one before retaining one.
I hope the above is helpful, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to let me know and I will follow up quickly.
Thank you for using our service, please do not forget to rate my answer when you are satisfied. I am going to transfer our conversation to the "Q&A" format to ensure you can review the entire response (some customers have browser interface issues and I want to avoid any delay) and that I can follow up to any questions you may have quickly. I do wish you the best of luck in this matter.
If legal action requires involvement of the COA, how do we convince the COA prez to "take our side" in this? Right now, she seems more inclined to give the insurance agent a break (cut him some slack). She hasn't said or done anything that would make us think that she agrees with the merits of our claim, as maintenance negligence is pretty much a reflection on her work as condo prez. She's the sole year-round resident, and she's basically responsible for the delay in exterior maintenance. We've tried to cut her some slack, since we know a great portion of condo matters rests on her shoulders. We've avoided blaming her, but that doesn't mean we think the COA if off the hook for our damage. If anything, we're worried that we're seeing a pattern of lax attention to the buildings, and we'd like the COA to know we're not OK with that attitude. We need something with "teeth" in it to convince her that she needs to side with us. As of now, we don't think any of the other condo owners are aware of our claim, the reserves are not flush, and at least one owner has said they're wanting to sell. We've told the prez that we want our claim to be made known to any potential buyers, to let them know there are outstanding issues with the COA adequately maintaining buildings, honoring its responsibilities to the individual owners, and possibly having outstanding debt on the books. We're just very reluctant to involve lawyers (no offense), and would like to find another way to get this resolved. So only question in this ramble is back to the beginning: how do we convince the COA prez to back us against the agent and the big insurance companies? If we had her on our side, would the agent and Firemens Fund be more inclined to honor the coverage, or is it still their option to try to get a different carrier to pay it?
This is our last reply (and we'll give you a top rating). Is our claim date of 9/6/12 the date that the state of FL recognizes? Or is there leeway? If there's leeway for the insurance company to say that damage occurred before 9/6/12, then it would make the agent negligent. But if 9/6/12 is the date that the state recognizes, and the agent supposedly did have insurance in place on that date, then it would seem that he could claim he wasn't negligent, that the COA was covered on the date of the claim, and that the carrier on that date should pay instead of his Errors and Omissions coverage.
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