Retain Copy of Release when Claims filed
In a recent decision named Alpine Fresh, the third district court of appeal determined a release of the insurance company and its “agents” signed in the underlying litigation was also a release of the independent insurance agent who provided the policy to the insured.
The insurance agents in this case were “general lines agents,” as defined in section 626.015(5)(a)-(e), Florida Statutes (2010), for various insurance companies including Zurich. As insurance agents, they had the authority to bind Zurich when writing a policy for a prospective insured. Although the agents sold other lines of insurance besides Zurich, whether a broker is an agent of the insurer or the insureddepends on the facts of the particular situation.
The release signed by the Plaintiff before they targeted the agent as a defendant released both Zurich and its agents resulting in no case against the insurance agents in this case.
Practice Tip: When an insured files a claim, request that the insurer provide you with a copy of the release and make sure agents are listed on the release as well.