What is a Condition Precedent to Insurance Coverage?

J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo
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Founder of J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo, P.A.

Contractual law defines a condition precedent as “an act or event other than a lapse of time, that must occur before a binding contract will arise”. These condition precedents can apply to both the formation of a contract or the manifestation of a promised performance within the contract. Land Co. of Osceola County, LLC v. Genesis Concepts, Inc., 169 So.3d 243 (4th DCA 2015). In other words, a condition precedent can be seen as a pre-requisite to obtain coverage for your insurance claim. Failure to meet certain condition precedents in the first place may make the insurance company not contractually bound despite having agreed to insure the policyholder.

The conditions required so you can be entitled to recovery vary depending on who your insurer is and which insurance policy you have chosen. Although, which condition precedent you are subject to is contingent upon your policy, there are many common condition precedents that one can expect to find through out most policies in general. For example, in regard to property damage insurance claims, it is typical that in order to recover for your loss that certain condition precedents are met such as regular maintenance of the insured’s premises, complying with safety measures that are standard for your industry, and the mitigation of foreseeable damage.  These conditions precedent to coverage will vary depending on your insurance policy and the scope of coverage it provides. Failure to meet these condition precedents can result in the forfeiture of your coverage, but it is a modern trend in our legal system for the Court to balance both the interests of the insured and insurer to achieve the most equitable outcome (Couch on Insurance Third Edition by Plitt, Maldonado, Rodgers, and R. Plitt 2018).

A popular condition precedent to recovery that you should keep an eye out for in your business insurance policy is the requirement of maintaining proper business records making it important to keep accurate records of your property to comply with your policy.

Although failure to meet these requirements often ends in forfeiture, with the help of legal counsel you may use certain justifications as a defense for failure to comply with these conditions precedent. These requirements can be properly assessed by an experienced insurance claims attorney who has experience with the complicated legal language used by insurance companies.

An experienced insurance claims attorney can help you contest unclear condition precedents that have not been met and are barring you from recovery or make you aware of them in the first place so you meet the requirements of your policy.

You can reach Miami Insurance Claims Lawyer J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo by dialing his direct number at (786) 272-5841, calling the main office at (305) 461-1095, or Toll Free at 1 (866) 71-CLAIM or email Attorney Gonzalez-Sirgo directly at[email protected].

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