In a unanimous opinion issued on July 7, 2021, the 4th District Court of Appeals ruled an Insured may electronically record an insurer’s appraiser during an inspection at the insured property. In Silversmith v. State Farm Ins. Co., 2021 WL 2910240, 4D20-2685 (4th DCA July 7, 2021) the Court held an appraiser has no legitimate expectation of privacy while in the Insured’s home for an inspection. This legal analysis can be applied to the insurance adjuster, not just the insurance company’s appraiser.
The case arose out of a first-party property insurance claim the Insured filed for storm damage to her home. As the Insured and the insurance company disagreed with the scope of damage and the cost of repairs, State Farm requested to resolve the dispute under the insurance policy’s appraisal provisions. The Insured filed an action seeking permission to videotape the appraisal of her home, and the trial court refused. Relying on Section 934.03 Florida Statutes 2020 (the two-party consent rule), the trial court denied the request, ruling, “no one may audio/video record the inspection unless all participants consent.” The Insured disagreed with the ruling and filed an appeal to the 4th DCA.
On appeal, the appellate court disagreed with the trial court and held (1) nothing in the policy precluded [the videotaping] of an appraisal inspection, and (2) the insurer’s appraiser has no legitimate expectation of privacy while in the Insured’s home for the inspection. The appellate court also pointed out that privacy concerns do not apply when the insurer’s appraiser is on the Insured’s property, because the appraiser does not have a legitimate expectation of privacy while performing an appraisal at the insured’s property. The court also noted that nothing in Florida law prevented the Insured from electronically recording the appraiser and that nothing in the insurance policy prohibited the recording. Read the 4th DCA opinion here.
If you are not sure whether you have the right to record your insurance company’s inspection of your home, call one of our expert insurance claims attorneys at Murray + Murray today. The starting point for this question is a thorough review of the terms and conditions of your insurance policy. If you have any questions regarding your insurance policy provisions or your rights in the claims process, contact us today for a free consultation.