Statute of Limitations

Most insurance policies contain a contractual provision that sets forth the time frame in which the insured must commence suit should a dispute arise concerning the policy. In many instances, these limitation provisions provide that the insured must file suit no later than one year after the date of the loss.
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Property insurance is purchased to help protect an insured with the consequences of a natural disaster or serious storm. Far too often we hear from confused policyholders when their insurance carrier attempts to delay payment of a valid covered claim or unreasonably delays the payment of covered benefits. Fortunately, Wyoming provides several legal avenues to recover those improperly denied or delayed benefits.
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Some insurance policies will contain a clause within the conditions section entitled “Conformity to State Law.” This provision contains language similar to:

“Conformity to State Law. When a policy provision is in conflict with the applicable state law of the State in which this policy is issued, the law of the state will apply.”
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In Arizona, the statute of limitations for a cause of action for insurance benefits will begin to run from the date the insurer committed a breach, unless the policy states otherwise (i.e., from the “inception of” or “date of” loss). Typically, this means from the date the insurer denies claim benefits to its insured.1
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Many of you may recall that, during the Spring of 2016, many parts of Texas were hit with storms of varying severity that caused significant property damage. Some of the resulting insurance claims that arose from those storms have dragged on, including a number that simply fell by the wayside as both carriers and adjusters were pulled away to focus on the hurricanes that wracked so many states in 2017.
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On a matter of first impression, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals recently concluded that an insured’s claim for statutory penalty interest due on an untimely payment was not subject to the policy’s two-year limitation period. In Palmer Park Square, LLC v. Scottsdale Insurance Company,1 the Sixth Circuit reversed the district court’s conclusion and found that Michigan’s statutory six-year limitation period applied to the insured’s claim, rather than the policy’s contractually shortened two-year limitation period.
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While Colorado Revised Statute § 13-80-101(1) provides that a lawsuit based on a breach of contract must be brought within three years after the cause of action accrues, Colorado allows insurance companies to shorten this period within the insurance contract to as little as six months from the date on which the damage occurred.1