Florida Appellate Court rules that an insurance policy’s anti-assignment clause did not prohibit an insured from assigning policy proceeds to a contractor that the insured hired to repair the insured’s property following a loss.
The Court in Bioscience West, Inc. v. Gulfstream Property and Cas. Ins. Co., 185 So.3d 638 (Fla. App. 2016) explained that all contract rights were assignable under Florida law unless the contract specifically prohibited assignment and the contract involves a personal obligation or public policy dictated against the assignment. However, the Court also noted that Florida case law had yielded deep rooted support for the conclusion that post-loss assignments did not require an insurer’s consent. Assignments of post-loss benefits had to be distinguished from the concept of assignment of the policy itself.
The anti-assignment clause in Gulfstream’s policy focused on the non-assignability “of this policy.” Because of this language, the Court found that the anti-assignment clause prohibited assignment of the whole contract but did not prohibit the assignment of less than the whole contract such as the financial proceeds that were owed as insurance benefits under the contract.