policyholder or claimant in an amount in excess of the statutorymaximum or in excess of the obligation of the insolvent insurer underthe policy from which the claim arises.
Jones v. Fla. Ins. Guar. Ass’n
,908 So. 2d 435, 453-54(Fla. 2005)(citing §631.57, Fla. Stat. (2008)).FIGA cannot be held liable for any penalties or interest. § 631.57(1)(b),Fla. Stat.(2008). And, FIGA is not responsible for the payment of aninsured’s attorney’s fees and costs unless it denies the claim byaffirmative action other than delay.
, 908 So. 2d at 453(citing §631.70, Fla. Stat.(2008)).Here, FIGA never denied coverage. The insured submitted a claim,andFIGA assumed limited responsibility, pursuant to chapter 631.FIGA hired an independent adjuster to inspect the claimand tenderedpayment. Nothing in FIGA’s payment transmittal letter indicated that itdeniedtheclaim,and the insured never claimedmore than the amounttendered. Within twenty-three (23) days of the insured filing thecomplaint, FIGA requested an appraisal.Section 631.70, Florida Statutes, states: The provisions of s. 627.428 providing for an attorney's feeshall not be applicable to any claimpresented to theassociation under the provisions of this part, except whenthe association denies by affirmative action, other thandelay, a covered claim or a portion thereof.Section 631.70unambiguously creates the boundaries of FIGA’sliability for attorney’s fees. FIGA is responsiblefor attorney’s fees only when it“denie[s] coverage by affirmative action,” other than delay, andthere is an “underlying entitlement to fees pursuant to Section 627.428,Florida Statutes. . . .”
Fla. Ins. Guar. Ass'n v. Jacques
, 643 So. 2d 101,102 (Fla. 4th DCA 1994). Here, FIGA did not deny the insured’sclaim;therefore, section 631.70bars the application of section 627.428. The Third District recently concluded that a dispute as to the amountto be paid is not a denial of coverage.
, 15 So. 3d at750-51. We also recently heldthat FIGA’s filing of affirmative defenses at thedirection of the court is not a denial of coverage.
Fla.Ins. Guar. Ass’n v.Ehrlich
,No. 4D09-3886,____ WL ____ (Fla. 4th DCA May 4, 2011). To sustain the award of attorney’s fees would renderthe Legislature’screation of section 631.70 meaningless. Therefore, we hold that adispute about the amount of damages does not constitute a denial of coverageby affirmative action, other than delay,exposing FIGA to