Can A Florida Homeowner Record An Insurance Appraiser During An Inspection?
Given what’s at stake during a property damage insurance claim, homeowners may ask: can I record an insurer’s appraiser while they inspect my home? In today’s age of smartphones with sophisticated photo and video capabilities, it is easy for most anyone to record at a moment’s notice. During an insurance appraisal, homeowners may find recording useful in case the appraiser tells the insurance company something different than what they told the homeowner.
Many insurance disputes center around the scope of damage and cost of repairs. An adjuster will investigate insurance claims to assess the amount owed to the policy holder. They will also investigate:
- The events and circumstances surrounding the property loss;
- The events leading up to and following a loss;
- The amount and scope of damage;
- Estimated costs of repairs;
- The insurance policy and what it covers under the situation.
Because their role can be so critical in an insurance claim, appraisers and adjusters find themselves under scrutiny and are sometimes recorded on homeowners’ cameras and smartphones. Whether this is legal has been subject to dispute in recent years. Attorneys for the insurance companies have argued that Florida Statutes Sec. 934.03 forbids the recording of people without their consent. However, this rule applies only when the person being recorded had a reasonable expectation of privacy. Further, this statute applies to oral communications but not video images.
Florida’s 4th District Court of Appeals ruled in 2021 that an insured homeowner can electronically record an insurer’s appraiser or adjuster during their inspection. (See Silversmith v. State Farm Ins. Co., 2021 WL 2910240, 4D20-2685) 4th DCA July 7, 2021). The basis for this holding is that an insurance appraiser or adjuster has no reasonable expectation of privacy when in someone else’s home.
Not only do homeowners have a right to be present during an inspection – they have a right to record the process as well. This may come as a surprise to many of those working for insurers, who may believe they have some right to privacy while doing work at someone’s home. This is not true, and homeowners should know that.
If you are uncertain about your rights to record an insurer’s appraiser or adjuster, contact our proven property damage claims attorneys at Bundza & Rodriguez, P.A.. It would not be surprising for an insurer or their employee unfamiliar with the law to object to a recording, or even threaten a denial of coverage or legal action. A homeowner has important legal rights in these scenarios, however, and property owners need to stand firm to protect them.
At Bundza and Rodriguez, Our Florida Property Damage Insurance Attorneys Can Help You Protect Your Legal Rights and Strengthen Your Insurance Claim
The Daytona property damage insurance attorneys at Bundza & Rodriguez, P.A., have years of experience handling all varieties of property damage issues in the area. We know your legal rights and can guide you through the insurance claims process to protect them. If your insurance company is threatening to reduce or deny coverage, or take any action against you because you recorded their adjuster, call our Daytona law offices at 386-252-5170, or schedule a consultation with our Daytona Beach property damage attorneys online.