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

Oklahoma insurance law recognizes that insurance companies have a good faith duty to their customers. Merlin Law Group attorneys in Oklahoma work on what are called “bad faith” cases all the time. These cases should be called “lack of good faith” cases because there is no proof requirement that somebody was bad–just that they were not acting in the utmost of good faith and fair dealing.
Continue Reading Wrongful Denial or Delay by Your Insurance Company in Oklahoma? Insurance Companies Have Good Faith Obligations and Can Be Held Accountable

Pursuant to section 624.155(3)(a) of the Florida Statutes, an insured has a right to file a bad-faith cause of action if his or her carrier violates enumerated statutory provisions.1 Before filing such an action, however, the insured must meet three requirements:

1 There must be a determination of the insurer’s liability for coverage.

2 There must be a determination of the extent of the insured’s damages.

3 The insured must provide notice to the carrier by filing a Civil Remedy Notice (“CRN”) with Florida’s Department of Financial Services.2

Before the determination of liability and coverage, can an insured file a CRN?
Continue Reading Can You File a Civil Remedy Notice Before Coverage and Liability Are Established?

We keep stressing—and cannot stress enough—that effectively communicating an insurer’s bad faith conduct will help you go further in resolving insurance disputes. A great way to get a carrier’s attention is your ability to identify an insurer’s bad faith conduct, bring the conduct to the carrier’s attention, and explain why such conduct is prohibited. In this blog post, I’ll focus on what insurer conduct in California will demonstrate an insurer’s failure to conduct a thorough investigation. As a best practice, it is always good to let an insurer know the source prohibiting the alleged bad faith conduct. The source will always be either a statute, regulation, or case law. I have included applicable sources.
Continue Reading Another Quick California Guide to Holding an Insurer Accountable – What Constitutes a Bad Faith Lack of a Thorough Investigation

Many insurance policies have a one-year suit limitation clause, which precludes the policyholder from suing for breach of contract after the one-year period has passed.1 In West Beach Condominium v. Commonwealth Insurance Company (“West Beach”),2 the Court of Appeals of Washington was asked whether under Washington Law an insurance policy one-year suit limitation clause barred extra-contractual claims under the Insurance Fair Conduct Act (“IFCA”)3 or Consumer Protection Act (“CPA”).4 The appellate court concluded the one-year suit applicable to breach of contract claims did not bar extra-contractual claims under IFCA or CPA.
Continue Reading Under Washington Law Does A Policy One Year Suit Limitation Clause for Breach of Contract Claims Prevent Extracontractual Claims Under the CPA or IFCA?

Effective communication with an insurance company is one of the best tools available to successfully resolve claims. I have heard time and time again from insurance adjusters and defense attorneys that poor communication is one of the chief reasons that claims are undervalued and low settlement values are assigned. I outline some basic tips for effective advocacy.
Continue Reading Effective Communication with Insurers – When You Have Good Facts and Law, Focus on the Good Facts and Law

Perhaps the most universally misunderstood aspect of insurance litigation in California is what the potential outcomes look like for the insured. Some policyholders fear the insurance company will tie them up in litigation for years and drain them emotionally, while others think a jury will swiftly award them tens of millions in punitive damages. The truth is somewhere in between. Insureds need their attorneys to help them understand the realistic outcomes. Insureds who misunderstand this early on will find themselves in trouble down the road when comes time to make the hard decisions.
Continue Reading What Are the Risks and Rewards of a Bad Faith Lawsuit in California?

Nebraska’s Unfair Insurance Claims Settlement Practices Act, found at Neb. Rev. Stat. § 44-1535, et seq., does not allow for a private right of action. Under Neb. Rev. Stat. § 44-1537:

The purpose of the Unfair Insurance Claims Settlement Practices Act is to set forth standards for the investigation and disposition of claims arising under policies issued to residents of this state.


Continue Reading Nebraska Bad Faith Pleading and Requirements

Louisiana federal courts have been split on the issue regarding the applicable prescriptive period (statute of limitation) for first-party insureds’ bad faith claims against their insurers. Recently, the Louisiana Supreme Court granted review of Smith v. Citadel Insurance Company, to definitively rule on the primary legal issue presented: “the proper prescriptive period applicable to a first-party bad faith claim against an insurer.”1
Continue Reading What Is the Prescriptive Period for Louisiana First-Party Bad Faith Claims?