Reiter Prevails in Case Reinforcing the Applicability of Uberrimae Fidei
Miami, Fla. – December 23, 2020 – GrayRobinson, P.A. (GrayRobinson) Attorney Jack R. Reiter, shareholder in the Miami law firm office, and chair of the firm’s appellate practice, along with Lesley-Anne Marks, senior associate from the Melbourne law firm office, prevailed before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in the case Alfredo Quintero v. Geico Marine Insurance Company.
The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeal affirmed summary judgment for GEICO Marine Insurance Company. Reiter, appellate counsel for Geico, was quoted in the Daily Business Review stating, "This opinion is significant because it reinforced the applicability of the historical doctrine of uberrimae fidei, which embodies the highest degree of good faith and places the burden on the insured to make full and voluntary disclosure of facts to an insurer that would be material to the decision to issue a marine insurance policy." Under this doctrine, an insured who is attempting to procure marine insurance has an affirmative duty to disclose any material issues to an insurer. Moreover, the failure to disclose a material issue to a marine insurer will void coverage even if the failure to make such a disclosure was unintentional.The continued viability of the doctrine within the Eleventh Circuit is extremely significant within the marine insurance industry and reinforces the burden federal maritime law places on policyholders to make full disclosure to marine insurers.