In general, state insurance regulators must approve an insurer's rates before their insurance products are sold to the public. The effect of this is that generally plaintiffs are barred from bringing claims against insurers for unfair or discriminatory rates. This is known as the "filed-rate" doctrine. However, in Florida, force-placed insurance, that is, insurance that is placed by the mortgage lender on a property when a homeowner does not provide substitute insurance, is not subject to regulatory approval. Therefore, an insurer or mortgage lender may not rely on the filed-rate doctrine as a defense to a class action lawsuit alleging unfair or discriminatory rates (here, specficially - authorized charges and commissions). In this consolidated appeal, UP reminded the 11th Circuit that the District Court erred by relying on the filed rate doctrine to bar the plaintiffs' claims.
“I don't know how we would have found answers or how to begin if they had not coached us through the process.”