Timothy R. Engelbrecht is a Partner at Butler’s Tampa office. He has been with the firm since 2008. Timothy defends insurance companies against first-party property breach of contract lawsuits and declaratory judgment actions for insurance coverage. These lawsuits often involve claims of water, fire, storm, or sinkhole damage at residential or commercial properties.
Many lawsuits that Timothy handles involve assignments of benefits (“AOBs”). Timothy has written articles on AOBs for the Claims and Litigation Management Alliance (CLM) and the Southern Loss Association, Inc. (SLA). Timothy has spoken on the topic of AOBs at conferences held by the Property and Liability Resource Bureau (PLRB) and the Windstorm Insurance Network (WIND). Timothy counsels clients on the best practices for handling AOB claims and defending AOB lawsuits.
Timothy earned a Juris Doctor, magna cum laude, from Hamline University School of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota. During law school, Timothy attended the University of Notre Dame’s Summer Law Programme in London where he studied carriage of goods by sea and the law of the European Union. Timothy was a member of moot court and an editor on law review. During his final year in law school, Timothy was a judicial extern to The Honorable Ann D. Montgomery, U.S. District Judge, District of Minnesota. Timothy was a staff attorney (judicial clerk) in Florida’s Sixth Judicial Circuit before joining Butler.
Gavin's Ace Hardware, Inc. v. Federated Mut. Ins. Co., 2011 WL 5104476 (M.D. Fla. 2011)
Hunt v. State Farm Fla. Ins. Co., 112 So.3d 547 (Fla. 2d DCA 2013)
King v. First Liberty Ins. Corp., 2013 WL 561373 (Fla. 2d DCA 2013)
Pacatte v. State Farm Fla. Ins. Co., 2011 WL 9514860 (Fla. Cir. Ct. 2011)
•Four CALI Awards for achieving the highest grade in Property, Torts, Insurance Law, and National Security Law
February 05, 2018 PUBLICATION Good-Faith Claim Handling in Florida
Like many states, Florida law allows a person under a first-party insurance contract to sue an insurer if the person has been damaged by certain actions often referred to as bad-faith claim handling practices. The purpose of this article is to explain how Florida addresses bad-faith claim handling practices. This article will also provide examples of how claims professionals can ensure they are always handling claims in good faith.
November 23, 2016 PUBLICATION Awash in AOBs
Hurricane Matthew lashed Florida’s eastern coast in early October causing significant damage to both residential and commercial property. While Hurricane Matthew is gone, Florida insurers are now bracing for another type of storm, namely a flood of assigned insurance claims in the wake of Hurricane Matthew’s destruction. Over the past few years, assigned insurance claims - often referred to assignments of benefits or AOBs - have been particularly challenging for first-party property insurers in Florida. AOBs raise unique issues, including fraud concerns.
October 18, 2016 PUBLICATION Follow Up on Assignment of Benefits Litigation in Florida
In the summer of 2016, SLA published an article titled Assignment of Benefit Litigation in Florida. The article was an introduction to the topic of assignments of benefits ( AOB ) in Florida and how they are being used in insurance claims and litigation. Many readers asked for a follow up article that would provide some additional information and analysis on certain AOB topics. This article will spotlight four of those topics and give the reader some additional information and analysis on each of them.
June 24, 2016 PUBLICATION Assignment of Benefits Litigation in Florida
Over the past five years, first-party property insurers in Florida have been experiencing a wave of claims and lawsuits by contractors who obtain insurance rights from insureds through document called an assignment of benefits ( AOB ). This article is intended to introduce the reader to this topic and explain some of the challenges facing insurers in dealing with AOBs in Florida. The reader is welcome to contact the author to learn more.
September 27, 2012 PUBLICATION The Troubles Of Trafalgar : Bad Faith In the Absence Of Breach Of Contract
How can a first-party insurer be legally liable for insurance ‘‘bad faith'' if it has already been found not to be liable for breach of the insurance contract? According to at least one Florida appellate court, by paying an Appraisal Award timely.
February 23, 2018 BLOG POST Florida Court Rules Against Insurer on Seepage/Leakage Exclusion
Florida first-party property insurers have seen a dramatic rise in the number of reported water loss claims over the past five years. Many insurance policies contain an exclusion for losses “caused by constant or repeated seepage or leakage of water over a period of 14 or more days.” Today, one Florida appellate court ruled that “an insurance policy excluding losses caused by constant or repeated leakage or seepage over a period of fourteen days or more does not unambiguously exclude losses caused by leakage or seepage over a period of thirteen days or less.”
September 12, 2017 BLOG POST Handling Assignment of Benefit ( AOB ) Claims in the Wake of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey
The classic example of an AOB claim is the following: an insured suffers property damage and hires a repair contractor to repair that damage. The repair contractor requires the insured to execute a written document, usually entitled “Assignment of Insurance Benefits”, which says something to the effect of “for and in consideration of the contractor’s agreement to protect the property from further damage and/or make repairs, the insured assigns his/her/its insurance benefits to the contractor.” The contractor thereafter makes a claim directly to the insurer using the AOB.
January 11, 2017 BLOG POST What Is An Offer of Judgment And Can It Really Lower the Cost of or Shorten Litigation?
Insurance coverage litigation today is often time consuming and expensive. Many cases include claims for “bad faith” damages, and some cases seek punitive damages. To support their allegations, litigants will usually seek a wide-array of documents and testimony. Accordingly, litigating such matters can also become expensive.
October 21, 2016 BLOG POST Butler Podcast: Handling Assignment of Benefit ( AOB ) Claims Podcast
Why are AOB claims on the rise in First-Party Property Claims? How do you read an AOB, and what do you look for? What are the bad faith concerns? Which pitfalls are common in these types of claims? Find out the answers in our New Butler Podcast!
October 20, 2016 BLOG POST Understanding How Insurance Policy Conditions Apply When There is an Assignment of Benefits
Florida first-party property insurers have seen a dramatic rise in assigned insurance claims. In the typical scenario, an insured assigns her rights to receive insurance proceeds from a loss to a contractor in return for the contractor’s agreement to prevent additional loss or to make repairs. Florida law has allowed assignments of benefits (“AOBs”) for nearly 100 years, so long as the AOB itself satisfies the requirements of a valid contract.
March 23, 2016 BLOG POST Court Addresses AOBs and Appraisal
Butler has been at the forefront of defending insurers against the tidal wave of assignment of benefit (“AOB”) litigation that has hit Florida over the past four years. Many insurers have been invoking appraisal in an effort to resolve disputes with assignee claimants to prevent lawsuits.
February 10, 2016 BLOG POST Court Reverses Judgment for Insurer Invalidating AOB
Late last week, the Second District Court of Appeal (“2DCA”) issued its opinion reversing a trial court’s final summary judgment in favor of an insurer, which held the contractor’s AOB invalid. The case is Bioscience West, Inc. aao Gattus v. Gulfstream Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co., No. 53-2013CA-000847, (Fla. 10th Cir. Ct. July 29, 2014). The appeal number is 2D14-3946.
January 28, 2016 BLOG POST Court Affirms Judgment for Insurer Invalidating AOB
The trial court gave three bases for granting the insurer’s motion for final summary judgment and finding the AOB invalid. Those bases were (1) that Florida’s Homestead protection renders the AOB invalid because it sought to divest the homeowners of Homestead-protected property; (2) the AOB amounted to an unauthorized public adjusting agreement; and (3) the AOB was not signed by all the named insureds.
September 06, 2017 EVENT PLRB Central Regional Adjusters Conference - Assignment of Benefits Strategies
Tim Engelbrecht from Butler Weihmuller Katz Craig presented in New Orleans, LA at the Central PLRB 2017 Regional Adjusters Conference on the topic of Assignment of Benefits Strategies .
June 14, 2017 EVENT Western PLRB 2017 Regional Adjusters Conference - Assignment of Benefits Strategies
Tim Engelbrecht from Butler Weihmuller Katz Craig presented in Riverside, CA at the Western PLRB 2017 Regional Adjusters Conference on the topic of Assignment of Benefits Strategies .
January 29, 2017 EVENT 18th Annual Windstorm Insurance Conference - The Complex World of Assignment of Benefits ( AOB )
Timothy Engelbrecht presented at the 18th Annual Windstorm Insurance Conference.