Florida Legislative Update: Florida enacted a significant overhaul of its PIP statute
Subsequent to Nunez, Florida enacted a significant overhaul of its PIP statute, amending Fla. Stat. § 627.736 to provide, in pertinent part, that under Fla. Stat. § 627.736(6)(g), "[a]n insured seeking benefits…must comply with the terms of the policy, which include…submitting to an examination under oath."
On May 4, 2012, Governor Rick Scott signed HB 119 (SB 1860) into law (filed on May 6, 2012, as 2012 Fl. ALS 197). Effective January 1, 2013, this law amends subsections (1), (4), (5), (6), (7), (8), (9), (10), and (11) of Fla. Stat. § 627.736 and added section (17). Of significance, Fla. Stat. § 627.736(6) was amended to provide, under subsection (g), that:
[a]n insured seeking benefits under §§ 627.730-627.7405, including an omnibus insured, must comply with the terms of the policy, which include, but are not limited to, submitting to an examination under oath. The scope of questioning during the examination under oath is limited to relevant information or information that could reasonably be expected to lead to relevant information. Compliance with this paragraph is a condition precedent to receiving benefits. An insurer that, as a general business practice as determined by the office, requests an examination under oath of an insured or omnibus insured without a reasonable basis is subject to § 626.9541 (pertaining to unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices).
Accordingly, it appears the certified question posed in Nunez v. GEICO Gen. Ins. Co., 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 6634, was answered by Florida's legislative and executive branches before the Florida Supreme Court had an opportunity weigh in. Effective January 1, 2013, "[a]n insured seeking benefits…must comply with the terms of the policy, which include…submitting to an examination under oath." Fla. Stat. § 627.736(6)(g).
Case Law Alert - 3rd Qtr 2012