In Progressive American Insurance Company v. Grossi, 164 So. 3d 790 (Fla 5th DCA 2015) John Grossi was the named insured of an automobile insurance policy. His wife, Judy, was also insured by and through the Progressive insurance policy. After an automobile accident, Progressive denied John’s claim for Uninsured/Under-Insured motorist benefits (“UM benefits”). Progressive established that Judy had changed the policy by making a modification (rejecting UM benefits). At the trial court, a summary judgment was entered in favor of John and Judy Grossi; Progressive appealed. The question on appeal was whether Judy Grossi had authority to reject UM coverage as her husband’s actual or apparent agent. John claimed that Judy did not have actual or apparent authority to decline the valuable UM coverage. John argued that only he (the named insured) had the authority to reject UM coverage. Progressive disagreed and asserted that the wife was acting within the actual or apparent authority of her husband and that her rejection was of UM coverage was valid. Florida’s Fifth District Court of Appeal held that the named insured could reject uninsured motorist coverage through an agent. Furthermore, the court found that there was a plethora of evidence to support the insurer’s position, including but not limited to Judy’s numerous modifications of the policy in the past. Thus, the court reversed the trial court’s order granting summary judgment and remanded the case to the trial court for determination of disputed issues of material fact.
Read the opinion here: http://www.5dca.org/Opinions/Opin2015/052515/5D14-2932.op.pdf