Florida’s 5th District Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal of more than 16 auto glass assignment-of-benefits (AOB) lawsuits against Progressive Insurance last week. With appellants arguing that the insurance provider failed to pay the full amount for windshield replacements, the Appeals Court upheld the lower court’s decision to dismiss the complaints based on two considerations.
Six auto glass companies were involved in the suit against Progressive American Insurance Company. They include At Home Auto Glass, Apex Auto Glass, Allied Auto Glass, Premier 1 Autoglass, Shazam Auto Glass and NCI LLC. For example, one NCI complaint against Progressive Select Insurance Company alleges that an insured individual sustained damage to their windshield and retained NCI to fix the damage. The shop then invoiced Progressive for the repairs but the insurance provider did not pay the full amount, according to court documents filed by appellants.
The subsequent breach-of-contract lawsuit brought by NCI was dismissed by a Florida court after Progressive successfully argued that the glass shop did not comply with an appraisal provision in the policy. Furthermore, that appraisal clause says that the insurance provider cannot be sued unless proper steps are taken within the appraisal process.
There were similar results with respect to another suit brought by At Home Auto Glass LLC. In that instance, which saw similar accusations against the insurance provider, a judge again found the appraisal clause to be a “mandatory provision of the policy,” according to the court’s order. The court also highlighted the clause that says that the insurance provider cannot be sued unless the appraisal procedure is followed.
The Appeals Court affirmed the lower court’s rulings without comment with respect to almost all of the cases. However, the ruling in one of the NCI suits was handed down more than a week before the other rulings.
“The trial court did not err when it rejected NCI’s varied arguments relating to the appraisal provision’s validity, the existence of an appraisable issue, and the absence of waiver,” the ruling reads. “Dismissal without prejudice was a proper remedy. We therefore affirm the trial court’s decision.”