Treble damages may be available when insurance companies act deceptively handling claims under North Carolina North Carolina’s Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act, N.C. Gen. Stat. § 75.1-1. A recent decision involved an obvious “collapse loss” where the insurer searched for a theory that would find no coverage. Collapse losses to buildings are no joke. Serious damage to property and people are at stake. The facts of this collapse show how close having fun can be to a horrific event.
Continue Reading Treble Damages for Insurance Company Misconduct in North Carolina and Collapse Coverage Confirmed

For some reason, one of my favorite non-insurance-related classes in law school was none other than constitutional law. Although the field of constitutional law is one that I enjoy reading and learning about, it is not often that first-party property insurance overlaps with constitutional law issues.
Continue Reading Citizens Property Insurance Immunity from Bad Faith Insurance Violations and the State Action Doctrine

Following a speech about claims ethics and claims practice lawsuits, one of the questions I get asked is whether the insurance company’s adjuster can be sued for bad faith. The answer is that it depends on the state law. But I often ask the question—“Why do you want to sue the individual adjuster when the adjuster is already an agent of the insurance company?”
Continue Reading Can The Individual Adjuster Be Sued For Statutory Bad Faith? Can The Adjuster Be Sued In Colorado?

The law firm that defended Scottsdale Insurance Company in the bad faith verdict I wrote about in Hurricane Laura Bad Faith Verdict Against Scottsdale Insurance, has a blog that noted the rules for payment of replacement cost value and actual cash value. This seemed to be a major theme throughout the lawsuit since Scottsdale claimed it was properly paying actual cash value payments in a timely manner.
Continue Reading Louisiana Insurance Company Law Firm Posts About Replacement Cost Value and Actual Cash Value

In what I think is the first trial from Hurricane Laura involving bad faith allegations against an insurer, Scottsdale Insurance Company took a shellacking. I have been patiently waiting for one of the numerous Hurricane Laura cases to make its way to verdict, but they have all settled – until last week. Scottsdale argued that it paid on time and even overpaid. It is evident that the jury did not agree.
Continue Reading Hurricane Laura Bad Faith Verdict Against Scottsdale Insurance

FedNat Insurance Company, fka Federated Insurance Company, was the recent topic of conversation that I had with an attorney seeking information about FedNat claims practices and how to prosecute a bad faith lawsuit in Florida. One suggestion I made was to study the proposed jury instructions in the upcoming Sebo bad faith case.1
Continue Reading FedNat Claims Handling Complaints and Bad Faith—Learning From Proposed Sebo Bad Faith Jury Instructions

When a tree fell on Nazila and Bijan Neman’s home and pool in July 2019, they had no idea that they would end up in trial with their homeowners insurance carrier State Farm two years later. They were shocked in August 2021 when a federal jury awarded them not only damages for the full amount to fix their home for $446,950.46 and their attorney’s fees, but also that the jury found State Farm acted with malice, oppression, and fraud during the investigation and adjustment of the claim. For this conduct, the jury awarded the Nemans $5,000,000.00 in punitive damages.
Continue Reading Another Punitive Damages Award Struck Down by a California Court

Evidence and the explanation of evidence is important in claims practice cases. State Farm certainly lost a lot of advertising goodwill by allowing a bad faith case to go to trial with actress Shannen Doherty. Policyholders reading articles about that case must wonder if State Farm really is a “good neighbor.” Yet, her bad faith verdict was quashed and was set for a new trial.1
Continue Reading Shannen Doherty Bad Faith Verdict Quashed and Set For New Trial

A recent Georgia case1 is an example of a loss that should never have been made into a “bad faith” lawsuit. The policyholder only received an additional $3,512.10 in damages over what the insurance company paid before the lawsuit was filed. In yesterday’s post, Good Faith (WKA Bad Faith) Lawsuits Do Not Always Result in a Policyholder Trial Victory, I noted a number of factors that tend to indicate a good claim practice lawsuit. I also stated:
Continue Reading A Follow Up To Good Faith (WKA Bad Faith) Lawsuits Do Not Always Result in a Policyholder Trial Victory

I can imagine some readers are wondering why I did not simply title this post with the words “Bad Faith” rather than “Good Faith.” The reason is that an insurance company owes a duty for “good faith” conduct. It simply is wrong that we refer to these improper claims practice lawsuits as “bad” when the cause of action is for the breach of the duty to act in “good” faith. I noted this in, Insurance Companies Must Perform in Good Faith Regardless of Their Customer’s Imperfect Actions:

It is unfortunate that we call these cases ‘bad faith’ cases when they are really ‘lack of good faith’ cases. Just read the ethical rules that historically called for insurance companies and their employees to act in the ‘utmost of good faith and fair dealing’ with their customers.

Continue Reading Good Faith (WKA Bad Faith) Lawsuits Do Not Always Result in a Policyholder Trial Victory