Insurance companies owe their insureds a duty to fully and fairly investigate a property loss, which includes a comprehensive inspection to identify all damages associated to the claim. Unfortunately, insurance adjusters will sometimes utilize an “any port in the storm” style reason to deny a claim; the adjuster cannot point to a specific tangible basis for denial, instead relying on a hypothetical justification. In that situation, the adjuster’s denial stands in paradox to the insurer’s duty to investigate a claim.
Continue Reading Claim Denial Reason: Did the Insurance Company Show Their Work?

This blog follows on the previous post, Insurance Bad Faith South Carolina: Part 3.

South Carolina allows “Bad Faith” lawsuits involving first party insurance claims. “Bad faith” claims handling is really a misnomer. Lawsuits involving insurance companies paying late and not enough money should be called Lack Of Good Faith lawsuits. “Bad faith” only heightens the standard and seems to imply an immoral or fraudulent standard:

In law, there are inconsistent definitions of bad faith, with one definition much more broad than used in other fields of study discussed in the above sections. Black’s Law Dictionary equates fraud with bad faith. But one goes to jail for fraud, and not necessarily for bad faith. The Duhaime online law dictionary similarly defines bad faith broadly as ‘intent to deceive’, and ‘a person who intentionally tries to deceive or mislead another in order to gain some advantage’.1
Continue Reading Insurance Bad Faith in South Carolina: Part 4 – Beware the Statute of Limitations

This blog follows up the previous post, Insurance Bad Faith in South Carolina: Part 2.

As explained in Part 2, there are several types of damages available to an insured for a first-party property insurance bad faith claim in South Carolina. Part 2 covered the availability of attorney’s fees in bad faith actions. This blog will cover other damages available, namely consequential and punitive damages.
Continue Reading Insurance Bad Faith in South Carolina: Part 3

In a previous post, I discussed whether an insured can file a Civil Remedy Notice before coverage and liability are established and discussed Florida’s three requirements for bringing a bad-faith claim.1 In this post, I will go back to a fundamental question the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit certified to the Florida Supreme Court years ago. Under section 624.155(1)(b)(1), can an insured’s bad-faith claim accrue before the conclusion of the underlying litigation?2 The Florida Supreme Court answered in the negative.3
Continue Reading Should an insured bring an action for bad-faith at the same time as the breach-of-contract action?

The Minnesota Supreme Court issued an opinion in late July that significantly addresses Minnesota Statute § 604.18, commonly known as Minnesota’s “Bad Faith Law.” While arising in the context of an automobile accident, the case of Peterson v. Western National Mutual Insurance Company,1 is still applicable to property insurance claims as § 604.18 applies to both automobile and property insurance claims.
Continue Reading A Fair Investigation Means Considering and Weighing All Facts and Circumstances

Back in June 2018, I blogged about the New Jersey Insurance Fair Conduct Act passing the Senate and heading to the Assembly. Unfortunately, many roadblocks (insurance company lobbyists) prevented the Bill from going forward by using propaganda to spread lies about the detrimental effect of passing it. For the foreseeable future, New Jersey will continue to be one of the most difficult states in the country to prove bad faith given their court’s “fairly debatable” standard.1
Continue Reading New York’s Bad Faith Bill Advances Through Assembly Insurance Committee

Colorado bad faith statutes provide protections to insureds when an insurance company unreasonably delays or denies an insurance claim. The statutes specifically provide that “a person engaged in the business of insurance shall not unreasonably delay or deny payment of a claim for benefits owed to or on behalf of any first-party claimant.”1 The statutes also provide a remedy when payment of owed insurance benefits is unreasonably delayed or denied.2
Continue Reading Colorado Statutory Bad Faith Claims: You Have to Show Your Work

Colorado protects its policyholders as well as any other jurisdiction in the United States.1 Most policyholder advocates are familiar with Colorado’s statutory bad faith claims that give policyholders a fighting chance against insurance carrier’s malfeasance. Whether it is incompetence or intentional, claim results are often unreasonable and policyholders are harmed with few remedies to make them whole.
Continue Reading Colorado Insurance Companies Do Not Have a “Get Out of Jail Free Card” For Delayed and Underpayments Following Appraisal

The California Appellate Court recently ruled in a published opinion that an insurer cannot escape liability for a breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing claim (bad faith), because its coverage position was based an outside consultant’s findings. In the case, Fadeeff v. State Farm General Insurance Company,1 the court considered State Farm’s bold contention that an insurer should automatically be considered to have acted in good faith if its claim decision is based on an independent expert’s conclusions.
Continue Reading Can an Insurer Avoid Bad Faith Liability by Claiming it Relied on the Opinion of an Outside Consultant?

It is not uncommon that a homeowner may suffer hailstorm damage and receive an actual cash value payment, but not make all the repairs before the next hailstorm hits. This is the situation that arose in Selective Insurance Company of South Carolina v. Sela.1
Continue Reading Insurer Acted in Bad Faith Where it Could Identify No Specific Misrepresentations Made by the Insured