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Tim Engelbrecht is an experienced and trusted litigator helping domestic and international insurers navigate Florida’s challenging first-party property insurance market.  He has been practicing law since 2007.  Tim has handled a wide variety of cases involving losses caused by hurricanes, sinkholes, windstorm, hail, flood, fires, and plumbing failures in both residential and commercial properties.  In addition to that, Tim has significant experience handling cases involving assignments of benefits (“AOBs”) as well as claims of bad faith and unfair claim handling practices.

Tim’s passion is presenting cases at trial to juries and judges.  Tim has been lead trial counsel in cases across Florida in both Circuit and County Courts as well as Florida’s Small Claim Division.  In 2020, Tim helped a client obtain a complete defense verdict after a five-day jury trial in a case brought by a homeowner seeking additional insurance proceeds after a covered hurricane claim. 

In the current COVID world, Tim is one of the few lawyers in Florida who has tried a case virtually.  In November 2021, Tim helped an insurer obtain a complete defense verdict in a bench trial conducted completely over Zoom.  It was an AOB case brought by a contractor seeking insurance proceeds after doing work at the insured property.  The case was particularly challenging with all the lawyers, parties, and witnesses (including one who used an interpreter) appearing virtually as well as the presentation of evidence having to be accomplished through virtual means.  That made the trial win even more satisfying.

Tim has also had a number of significant appellate outcomes.  Tim helped a client obtain a final summary judgment at the trial court and also affirm that judgment at the appellate court.  The case was Gamero v. Foremost Ins. Co., 208 So. 3d 1195 (Fla. 3d DCA 2017).   In that opinion, the appellate court reiterated the proper interpretation of the insurance policy’s marring exclusion, and also clarified Florida’s jurisprudence on the issue of coverage by estoppel and the proper use of a reply pleading.

Outside the courtroom, Tim is a sought-after author and speaker writing articles regarding the emerging issues in his practice and presenting to clients and associations regarding the key topics in this area of the law.  Tim has presented to the Lloyd’s Market Association at the Old Library in London, England on several first-party property insurance topics over the years.  Tim has written articles for the Claims and Litigation Management Alliance (CLM) and the Southern Loss Association, Inc. (SLA).  Tim has spoken on a variety of topics at conferences held by the Property and Liability Resource Bureau (PLRB) and the Windstorm Insurance Network (WIND).  Tim has also hosted webinars regarding the particular challenges of hurricane losses, including Hurricanes Irma and Michael that hit Florida in 2017 and 2018 respectively. 

Tim particularly enjoys his role at Butler as a leader and mentor to his large group of associate attorneys, paralegals, and support staff that assist him in his practice.  Having such a dedicated and capable team of people ensures that Tim’s clients receive the highest level of support for their cases. 

Tim earned his law degree – a Juris Doctor, magna cum laude – from Hamline University School of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota.  During law school, Tim 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.  Tim was a member of moot court and an editor on law review.  Tim won the award for achieving the highest grade in the class in four of his law school classes.  During his final year in law school, Tim was a judicial extern to The Honorable Ann D. Montgomery, U.S. District Court Judge for the District of Minnesota.  Tim was a staff attorney (judicial clerk) in Florida’s Sixth Judicial Circuit before joining Butler. 

Outside of work, Tim enjoys spending his time with his wife and two daughters.  They all enjoy traveling, especially over to London for a mix of both business and tourism.  The family also owns a house in Green Bay, Wisconsin where Tim and his wife grew up.  It is just a few blocks from Lambeau Field – the legendary home of the NFL’s Green Bay Packers.  Tim and his family are Packer shareholders, and they enjoy hosting friends and family for Packer games during the season.

Admissions

  • Florida
  • Minnesota

Recognitions

  • Four Cali Awards for Achieving the Highest Grade in Property, Torts, Insurance Law, and National Security Law

Education

  • St. Norbert College
    Bachelor of Arts
  • Hamline University School of Law
    Doctor of Jurisprudence

Memberships

  • Hillsborough County Bar Association (HCBA)
  • The Florida Bar

Courts

  • Florida Courts (Middle District)
  • Florida Courts (Southern District)
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida

Experiences

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)

Media

Lights, Camera, Action: Florida court rules insured can record appraisal inspection

On July 7, 2021, Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal ruled that an insured may electronically record an insurer’s appraiser during an inspection of the insured’s property.  The case is Silversmith v. State Farm Ins. Co., 2021 WL 2910240, 4D20-2685 (4th DCA July 7, 2021). The case arose after an insured made a first-party property insurance claim.  The insurer requested the claim be ...

Ringing in the Holiday Cheer

During the holiday season families gather round to share in their traditions. For Partner, Timothy Engelbrecht, one of those family traditions is partaking in a community service project together. To help spread cheer and holiday giving, this year’s volunteer efforts took place closer to home, their community grocery store. 1.    For those who aren’t as familiar or aware, what is the Salva...

INSURANCE POLICY CONDITIONS: Tools for Solid Claim Investigation

Partner Timothy Engelbrecht presented for the Southern Loss Association's CE Seminar on August 13, 2020. This presentation discussed using insurance policy conditions (prompt notice, protecting the property, site inspection, document requests, SSPOL, and EUO) to help a claim investigation. Tim also spoke about gulf coast court decisions from Texas to North Carolina....

Tim Engelbrecht Featured On Ap Article For Spacex Launch

Partner Timothy Engelbrecht visited the launch site of the historic SpaceX mission where he was interviewed by the Associated Press (AP). The article has been published by dozens of newspapers, TV stations, and news sites, including Yahoo! News. ...

As Florida Goes

This article is originally a publication of the Claims and Litigation Management Alliance (CLM) Construction Claims magazine, Fall 2019. Legal opinions may vary when based on subtle factual differences. All rights reserved. One of the most challenging topics in first-party property insurance over the last decade has been the increase in assigned claims.  They are often called “assignments of...

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The Challenges Of Adjusting Pipe Breaks And Sewer Back-Ups

This article is originally a publication of the Southern Loss Association newsletter, August 2019. Legal opinions may vary when based on subtle factual differences. All rights reserved. In January of this year, we published an article entitled "The Challenges of Adjusting Long-Term Water Losses." That article focused on the "constant or repeated leakage or seepage" exclusion that appears in man...

Water Woes, Plumbing Pipes And Sewer Back Ups

Timothy Engelbrecht presented "Water Woes, Plumbing Pipes and Sewer Back Ups" for the 2019 Annual SLA Property Seminar. This conference took place on August 8th, 2019 in Roswell, GA....

Water Woes: Hurricanes, Plumbing, Mold, Codes And More

Partner Timothy Engelbrecht with co-presenters Daniel Pittman of McLarens, and Tracey Dodd and William Bracken of J.S. Held LLC presented "Water Woes: Hurricanes, Plumbing, Mold, Codes and More" for the Lloyd's Market Association on May 15, 2019. This event discussed the emerging challenges associated with a variety of water losses including recent hurricanes, plumbing, mold, codes issues and mor...

Breaking News! Florida AOB Reform Explained

The Florida Legislature just passed a bill that makes significant changes to the assignment of benefits ("AOB") process in Florida. Governor Ron DeSantis stated he will sign the bill into law. The effective date of the bill will be July 1, 2019, meaning that it will apply to assignments executed on or after July 1, 2019. The bill was passed to address concerns regarding abusive litigation practic...

The Challenges Of Adjusting Long-Term Water Losses

This article is originally a publication of the Southern Loss Association newsletter, January 2019. Legal opinions may vary when based on subtle factual differences. All rights reserved. Many residential and commercial property insurance policies contain an exclusion that excludes loss caused by constant or repeated leakage or seepage. However, it has become more and more difficult to determine...

Prlb Central Regional Adjusters Conference – Strategies For Working With Public Adjusters And Difficult Insureds

Partner Tim Engelbrecht is presenting at the PLRB Central Regional Adjusters Conference on the topic "Strategies for Working with Public Adjusters and Difficult Insureds" on September 12—13, 2018, in Des Moines, IA.   This presentation is intended to identify scenarios and areas of potential discord in working with public adjusters or difficult insureds; locate local governing authority infor...

Lessons Learned From Recent Disasters

Timothy Engelbrecht, Partner, Butler Weihmuller Katz Craig LLP,  Amy J. Macdonald, Associate Principal, Thornton Tomasetti, and Ying Tse, Executive General Adjuster/Vice President, McLarens will discuss the particular challenges faced in handling claims from these events as well as strategies that can be employed in managing the response to future events.  This presentation will be held in Lond...

Prlb Western Regional Adjusters Conference – Strategies For Working With Public Adjusters And Difficult Insureds

Partner Tim Engelbrecht is presenting at the PLRB Western Regional Adjusters Conference on the topic "Strategies for Working with Public Adjusters and Difficult Insureds" on June 26, 2018, in Glendale Arizona.   This presentation is intended to identify scenarios and areas of potential discord in working with public adjusters or difficult insureds; locate local governing authority information...

Good-Faith Claim Handling In Florida – Part Ii

This article is originally a publication of the Southern Loss Association's Newsletter, June 2018. Legal opinions may vary when based on subtle factual differences. All rights reserved. This article is a continuation of the "Good-Faith Claim Handling in Florida" article that appeared in the Southern Loss Association Newsletter in February 2018. That article discussed the history and background ...

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 rep...

Good-Faith Claim Handling In Florida

This article is originally a publication of Southern Loss Association, Newsletter February 2018. Legal opinions may vary when based on subtle factual differences. All rights reserved. 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. Th...

AOB Reform Bill Passes Florida House, Senate Future Uncertain

On January 12, 2018, the Florida House of Representatives passed a bill (HB 7015) that would dramatically affect the way contractors and their lawyers use assignments of benefits (“AOBs”) in first-party property insurance claims and lawsuits. The biggest changes in the bill impact how AOBs must be written, new obligations on assignee contractors in the claim investigation process, limitations ...

Handling AOB Claims in the wake of Hurricanes Irma & Harvey Podcast

Hurricanes Irma and Harvey have damaged large areas of Florida, Texas, and Louisiana, as well as brought heavy rain and wind to Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. As insurers handle thousands of property damage claims in these areas, they will undoubtedly be presented with claims that have been assigned from insureds to damage-repair contractors. These are often referred to as assignment...

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 ...

Handling Assignment of Benefit (“AOB”) Claims in the Wake of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey

Hurricanes Irma and Harvey have damaged large areas of Florida, Texas, and Louisiana, as well as brought heavy rain and wind to Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. As insurers handle thousands of property damage claims in these areas, they will undoubtedly be presented with claims that have been assigned from insureds to damage-repair contractors. These are often referred to as assignment...

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". The presentation is designed to help adjusters understand the legal significance of an assignment, help them read and interpret an assignment, and help them use best practices when handling an assigned claim.  ...

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"....

18th Annual Windstorm Insurance Conference – The Complex World Of Assignment Of Benefits (“Aob”)

Timothy Engelbrecht presented at the 18th Annual Windstorm Insurance Conference on the topic of "The Complex World of Assignment of Benefits ("AOB")" in Orlando, Fl....

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.  One potential method for combating these rising costs and risk is ...

Awash In Aobs

This article originally appeared in Claims Management, a publication of the Claims & Litigation Management Alliance (CLM). Legal opinions may vary when based on subtle factual differences. All rights reserved. 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 i...

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 i...

Follow Up On Assignment Of Benefits Litigation In Florida

This newsletter is a publication of Southern Loss Association, Inc., P.O. Box 421564, Atlanta, GA 30342. All rights reserved.  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 a...

Assignment Of Benefits Litigation In Florida

This newsletter is a publication of Southern Loss Association, Inc., P.O. Box 421564, Atlanta, GA 30342. The articles written in the newsletter are in a general format and are not intended to be legal advice applicable to any specific circumstances. Legal opinions may vary when based on subtle factual differences. All rights reserved. Over the past five years, first-party property insurers in Flo...

Court Addresses AOBs and Standing to Sue

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. One difficult issue that insurers face in dealing with AOB claims and lawsuits is the question of who has the standing to sue the insurer once an AOB has been executed by the insured in favor of an assignee contractor. On Apr...

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. Some assignee claimants have tried to resist the appraisal process. This has raised a number of legal iss...

Court Reverses Judgment for Insurer Invalidating AOB

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. Recently, we covered the Fourth District Court of Appeal’s (“4DCA”) opinion affirming a trial court’s final summary judgment in favor of an insurer, which held the contractor’s AOB invalid. That case is One Call Pro...

Court Affirms Judgment for Insurer Invalidating AOB

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. Today, there was a noteworthy development. The Fourth District Court of Appeal (“4DCA”) issued an opinion affirming the trial court’s final summary judgment in favor of the insurer, which held the contractor’s AOB inval...

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. The Troubles Of Trafalgar: Bad Faith In the Absence Of Breach Of Contract...

Timothy Engelbrecht