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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 114076
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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My Auto insurance company I have been with years with 4

Customer Question

My Auto insurance company I have been with for 11 years with 4 accidents is terminating my policy for two accidents within 30 days of one another. I am a florida license holder with 0 citations the reason being I have worked with the Court who
gave me disposition of "adjudication withheld"...I have sent an appeal letter to
the Insurance Company Florida Underwriting Departmemt and have not heard back.
I looked up the Florida Code..318.14 (11) which states Under the Code adjudication
is not considered a conviction of a civil trqafic infraction and thus points may not be assessed by the DHSMV and in most cases insurance premiums may not be increased nor may the insurance carrier deny renewal of a policy based on an infraction for which adjudication is withheld.
I am 'waiting" for the appeal answer which may go on for a while so I am asking for
an opinion from a Florida Lawyer who is familiar with what I am going through for
hopefully a vote of confidence.
In addition, I am considering legal action in the event the Insurance Company terminates
my policy.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
Even though you were not adjudicated guilty in traffic court, the insurance company can still find a driver at fault in an accident even if they never received a citation. The reason for this is the standard burden of proof for a criminal or traffic court case in FL is beyond a reasonable doubt, but in civil court the standard is a preponderance of the evidence, meaning they just need to prove barely that you are at fault in the accident. Thus, if the insurance company deems based on the facts of the accidents themselves, not the citations or convictions, that you were at fault, they could increase your premiums or cancel your policy. This is up to the insurer and their policy and it is separate from what happened in the traffic court.
If the insurer denies your appeal, that is up to the insurer pursuant to your contract of insurance with them and you would have to obtain new insurance I am afraid.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
you are indicating that the florida code 318.14 which indicates if adjudication is withheld can not apply?
Also, in the options for renewal in the Insurance Letter ties adjudication by court as an item the insurance
company as a "Condition" for renewal.....So the Insurance Company does tie the results of "court action"
as a guide for renewal consideration. I am confused !
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Please respond to my reply above
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Are we still connected ???? Are you going to answer my reply....whats happening
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply. I am still here, but we are working with multiple customers at the same time and they all take the same time that you deserve. Thank you for your understanding.
The insurance company does not HAVE TO tie the termination to the court case. An adjudication withheld does not go on your driver's license record, but if an insurer has had to pay out an at fault claim, even if the adjudication was withheld, the insurance company can still seek to terminate your insurance for having accidents they had to pay out on because you were still civilly liable despite the adjudication withheld and the FL law saying the adjudication does not go on your license as a traffic violation conviction.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The point I am attempting to make is the Insurance Company LISTED A SET OF CONDITIONS they would accept
in order to continue the policy...One very explicit condition was..and I quote "(VI) Finally adjudicated not to be liable
by a court of competent jurisdiction"....This is the Insurance Companies CONDITION which I satisfied...
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply.
Finally adjudicated not to be liable is not the same as adjudication withheld on a traffic citation. Adjudication withheld on a traffic ticket just means no judgment was entered against you about the traffic violation, it does not speak to fault in the accident itself. As I said initially, just because you never get a ticket in an accident or because you get an adjudication withheld on the traffic violation does not mean you are not at fault in the accident itself, which is what the insurance company is concerned about.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks, ***** ***** no further questions.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply.
Do not hesitate to ask for further if you do have a follow up question and I will respond to you.
Please do not forget to leave positive feedback, as the experts are not employees of the site and get no credit for spending time with customers unless they leave positive feedback. Thank you.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
When I get a final answer from the Florida Underwriter I will respond to you. In the eventthe Underwriter gives a different more positive answer I will be requesting my $45 back.I am not satisfied I got the right direction. In the mean time please give me your definition of Florida Statute 318.14 (11)which I feel you have misinterpreted...or did not even take time to read.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply. You are dissatisfied with anyone who tells you what you do not want to hear. Good luck.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Naw, all I want you to do is give me something I want to hear. Your interpretation of Florida Statute 318.14 (11)
I have kept mentioning this and you have alluded to other items. I am prepared to be cancelled...and I will need
more than "luck" but in the meantime get off your soap box and give me an answer to 318.14 (11).
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply, "all I want you to do is give me something I want to hear," sorry, not going to happen.
I told you what FS 318.14 means. You said, "I looked up the Florida Code..318.14 (11) which states Under the Code adjudication
is not considered a conviction of a civil trqafic infraction and thus points may not be assessed by the DHSMV and in most cases insurance premiums may not be increased nor may the insurance carrier deny renewal of a policy based on an infraction for which adjudication is withheld."
You are incorrect in your statement.
FS 318.14 (11) states ONLY, "(11) If adjudication is withheld for any person charged or cited under this section, such action is not a conviction." (See: http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0300-0399/0318/Sections/0318.14.html) It says NOTHING about insurance.
It says it is not a conviction and that means no points are assessed on your license, but it says not one word about an insurance company finding you were still at fault in the accidents and as such the insurance company has a contractual right to refuse to continue insuring you for the fact you caused 2 accidents in 30 days an that has nothing to do with any citation you did or did not receive and it has nothing to do with you receiving an adjudication withheld.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
in most cases , insurance premiums may not be ncreased nor may an insurance carrier deny renewal of a policy, based on infraction for which adjudication is withheld"Posted on May 26, 2014 by Attorney Alberto QuirantesI am not an attorney that's why I approached your service...this is a reading from a website which admittantly is not a
stand alone law which you have addressed. Then the next question is there must have been cases that were determined
using "adjudication withheld" that influenced the direction of insurance disposition. Is this remotely possible since
and attorney posted the above comment ?Also, I want to explore this with a local Florida Attorney...Is there a process before an attorney takes a case can I provide
him the basics and he will review at no cost prior to accepting the case.Not being cheap here but you are saying according to the law as written there is zero connection between with holding
adjudication and disposition of insurance claims...is that correct ?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply.
You are not going bully me to try to tell you "something I want to hear (as you put it)."
If any attorney said that, I disagree with them and they were pandering to their customer to tell the customer just what the customer wanted to hear. I cannot know every single court decision ever made, so you asking if there was some court case somewhere that held what that attorney said, maybe one somewhere, but it was not something that was a written decision that I can find in the court cases.
I am saying that you getting a ticket or not or having an adjudication withheld has NOTHING TO DO WITH WHETHER YOU WERE THE CAUSE OF THE ACCIDENT. If you caused the accident, the insurance company can terminate your policy on that basis and it has nothing to do with the adjudication withheld.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for your patience..One of the conditions for renewing the policy is
VI....Finally adjudicated not to be liable by a court of competent jurisdiction
So, adjudication withheld, by a court should entitle me to renewal...
Your comments please
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your reply.

No, you are trying to equate the criminal penalty of a traffic citation with your private contract agreement with your insurance company. Your insurance is a private contract, they can refuse to renew you for any reason they want, the adjudication withheld has nothing to do with it, as I have said now and you keep trying to make me say otherwise and what you want me to say is simply not what the FL law is.

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
I will not rate Law Educator until I receive a final decision for my appeal. Law Educator rather than even attempting
to research Florida cases that allowed Adjudication Withheld to influence renewal of a policy just stated "not possible".
As a result I want to see how the Florida Underwriting decides my appeal which is heavily slanted toward 318,14 (11)
In fact, if Florida Underwriting approves my appeal I will request a refund of $47...There is no sense debating the
issue any further until the underwriters make the appeal determination so don't go on a rant and say your trying
to bully me into saying something which is not possible//// I feel it is possible and we will find out soon.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 12 months ago.
Good luck and I wish you the best.
I did research the law, I just did not "tell you what you wanted to hear" and the law is what I told you whether you like it or not and not only did I tell you that a Miami FL attorney reviewed the answer and sent an agree telling you the same thing. It is a private insurance company, you have no right to do business with them if they do not want your business because you are a bad driver. So I wish you the best with your complaint to the underwriters.

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