This is the second case involving Hayes Family Trust v. State Farm Fire & Casualty. The first case, involving the appraisal process, is discussed here. In this case, the policyholder claimed that State Farm acted in bad faith when it delayed the appraisal process because of coverage issues and when it failed to adequately investigate the claim. Summary judgment to State Farm was affirmed on appeal.
The policyholder argued the appraisal process was mandatory. But the cited case did not involve a coverage issue.
Further, plaintiffs concede that authority on the topic is sparse, and no reported Oklahoma or Tenth Circuit case holds that an insurer’s denial or delay of an appraisal based on a coverage question constitutes bad faith. Because there was a legitimate dispute as to whether an appraisal was proper, we cannot say that State Farm acted in bad faith. Plaintiffs have not shown that State Farm relied on some reason other than its legitimate dispute for its actions.
As to the failure to investigate the claim, the policyholder offered no evidence that further investigation would have produced additional relevant information or led to different conclusions.
As a result, summary judgment was proper. The case is not published.