We recently were presented with a case involving a property insurance claim in Wyoming. The policyholder was upset, and his public adjuster had a long list of improper actions by the insurance company. Merlin Law Group attorney Jonathan Bukowski wrote a short article about this in, Wyoming Denied or Delayed Property Damage Claims.
Wyoming policyholders who have been harmed by their insurance company have a common law right to file a bad faith law suit. For a policyholder to establish a first-party bad faith claim in Wyoming, the policyholder must establish:
- The absence of any reasonable basis for denying the claim; and
- The insurer’s knowledge or reckless disregard of the lack of a reasonable basis for denying the claim.1
Wyoming passed an Unfair Settlement Practices Act. Unfortunately, the Wyoming Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Statute does not create a private cause of action available to a policyholder. A policyholder’s bad faith lawsuit may not be based on the statute.2
Insurance claim delays and denials are frustrating at best and sometimes catastrophic. When policyholders in Wyoming are treated in this manner, they at least have an avenue for redress and can hold their delaying, lowballing, and denying insurance company accountable for misdeeds.
Thought For The Day
Wyoming is a special place: Where our farmers and ranchers rise before dawn and work until night to feed our nation. Where our coal miners and oil field workers produce the energy that powers America’s homes and businesses, and where our families are guided by faith, know the value of hard work, and deeply love our land.
1 Ahren Holtz v. Time Ins. Co., 968 P.2d 946 (Wyo. 1998); State Farm Mutual Automobile Ins. Co. v. Shrader, 882 P.2d 813 (Wyo. 1994); Cathcart v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Ins. Co., 123 P.3d 579 (Wyo. 2005); Gainsco Ins. Co. v. Amoco Production Co., 53 P.3d 1051 (Wyo. 2002).
2 Herrig v. Herrig, 844 P.2d 487 (Wyo. 1992); Julian v. New Hampshire Ins. Co., 694 F. Supp. 1530 (T. Wyo. 1988).