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William A. Bishop, as Personal Representative v. Progressive Express Ins. Co., Case No. 1D14-0278 (1st DCA)

Bishop involves the reversal of a summary judgment entered in favor of an insurer as to a "coverage by estoppel" claim. "When an insurance company assumes the defense of an action, with knowledge, actual or presumed, of facts which would have permitted it to deny coverage, it may be estopped from subsequently raising the defense of non-coverage." The coverage by estoppel claim requires a representation of material fact, reasonable reliance and a detrimental change in position as a result of the reliance. Prejudice and whether reliance was reasonable are questions for the jury. The trial court entered summary judgment against a business owner who argued that his insurer made statements and undertook actions which led the business owner to believe she had insurance coverage for the underlying claim, despite the insurer's knowledge of facts which would have permitted it to deny coverage. The First District reversed, noting that the coverage by estoppel claim exists, it does not sound in bad faith, and many of the relevant questions were to be determined by the jury.

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