Section 627.428 Florida Statutes Interpretation

In Insurance Co. of North America v. Lexow, 602 So. 2d 528 (Fla. 1992), the Eleventh Circuit asked this Court to decide whether the phrase "under a policy or contract" in section 627.428 includes litigation commenced after the insurer has paid the insured its policy limits to determine whether the insured or the subrogated insurer is entitled to funds recovered from the tortfeasor. 602 So. 2d at 530. The court held that it did, reasoning that resolution of the dispute over who was entitled to the monies recovered against the tortfeasor ultimately determined whether the claim was fully paid under the policy. Id. at 531. the court emphasized that the dispute arose under the policy, stating, "There is little difference between paying an insurance claim and then suing for its return and refusing to pay the claim in the first place." Id.