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Reinsurance Law Blog

Tag Archives: bad faith

Summary judgment to homeowner insurance company reversed on burst pipe claim — 10th Circuit, Utah

Posted in Contractual Liability, Insurance Bad Faith
In Wheeler v. Allstate Insurance Company, Wheeler insured his cabin with Allstate.  A friend stopped by the cabin in the spring and found a pipe had burst and there was water in the basement.  There was extensive damage.  It was determined that the pipe burst two months before discovery and was likely caused by a… Continue Reading

No bad faith for delay in appraisal where there were coverage issues — 10th Cir Oklahoma

Posted in Insurance Bad Faith
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… Continue Reading

Criminal Acts exclusion did not apply to negligent conduct even if the conduct leads to a criminal conviction — Missouri

Posted in Contractual Liability, Insurance Bad Faith
In Pitt v. Leonberger, the Missouri Court of Appeals ruled that the criminal conduct exclusion did not apply. Leonberger, a school bus driver, struck and killed Pitts’ son.  The insurer, Missouri United School Insurance Council (MUSIC), accepted liability and even hired an attorney to represent Leonberger when a criminal charge of negligent homicide was filed against… Continue Reading

Bad faith claim for failure to pay workers compensation benefits may proceed — Oklahoma

Posted in Insurance Bad Faith, New Case
In Meeks v. Guarantee Insurance Co., 2017 OK 17,  the employee sued the insurer for bad faith refusal to timely comply with several orders of the Workers’ Compensation Court awarding employee temporary total disability benefits after insurer–without good cause–withheld employee’s benefits on twenty-six separate occasions. The insurer moved for dismissal, asserting employee failed to obtain… Continue Reading

No coverage under builders risk policy for damage to the existing structure — 10th Circuit Colorado

Posted in Contractual Liability, Duty to Defend, Insurance Bad Faith
In Gerald H. Phipps, Inc. v. Travelers Property Casualty, the Tenth Circuit affirmed summary judgment to Travelers Property Casualty on a builders’ risk policy.  The policy covered the builder’s work on the property, not the property itself.  So, when water damaged the property while roof work was being performed by the policyholder, Phipps, there was… Continue Reading

Questions of reasonableness are for jury, not summary judgment — UM bad faith — Oklahoma law

Posted in Insurance Bad Faith
In Falcone v. Liberty Mutual, Falcone made an uninsured motorist claim (UM claim) for injuries arising out of an auto accident with an uninsured driver.  Falcone was a passenger in her mother’s car, and Liberty was the UM insurer.  Falcone was taken by ambulance to the OU Medical Center Emergency Room, and was then transferred… Continue Reading

Failure to disclose claim against insurance company in bankruptcy petition fatal — judicial estoppel — 10th Circuit, Colorado

Posted in Insurance Bad Faith, New Case
In Hermann v. Hartford Casualty Insurance, Hermann claimed Hartford unreasonably denied and delayed payment for his workers’ compensation claim.  Hartford moved for summary judgment, arguing that Hermann’s action should be barred under the doctrine of judicial estoppel because Hermann did not disclose his claim against Hartford in his bankruptcy petition. The judgment in favor of… Continue Reading

Whether the insurer’s investigation of a claim was reasonable was a question of fact precluding summary judgment 10th Circuit, Colorado

Posted in Insurance Bad Faith
In Peden v. State Farm Mutual Auto Ins Co., the Tenth Circuit reversed a summary judgment in favor of State Farm on a uninsured / underinsured motorist claim.  State Farm had both the liability coverage and the UM / UIM coverage.  State Farm paid $240,000 on the liability coverage, and after suit was filed, paid… Continue Reading

Misrepresentation on application voids policy, 8th Circuit, Arkansas

Posted in Contractual Liability
In Nationwide Property and Casualty v. Faircloth, Faircloth applied for auto insurance on line.  When asked for the “primary use” of the vehicle, Faircloth chose Work/School (commute to/from, errands).  After Faircloth had an accident, Nationwide learned that Faircloth used the vehicle for deliveries, putting 1200 miles a week on it.  Nationwide said Faircloth should have… Continue Reading

Choice of law for bad faith claim follows tort law, most significant relationship — Oklahoma

Posted in Insurance Bad Faith
In Martin v. Gray, 2016 OK 114, Martin was injured in an Oklahoma accident by Gray.  Martin’s insurance  was purchased by her parents while they lived in Kansas. She was, however, a listed/rated driver in the policy. Before the collision, Insured’s parents notified the Kansas agent that she was moving to Oklahoma to live with… Continue Reading

7th Circuit affirms order requiring payment of life insurance benefits to a stranger with no insurable interest — Wisconsin law

Posted in Contractual Liability, Insurance Bad Faith
In U.S. Bank National Association v. Sun Life Assurance Company, (opinion by Judge Posner)Sun Life issued a $6M life policy on Margolin in 2007.  In 2011, US Bank bought the policy and kept up the premiums.  In 2014, Margolin died.  Sun said it was looking into whether it had to pay the policy and US… Continue Reading

Fact questions preclude summary judgment on breach of contract and bad faith claims — WD Oklahoma

Posted in Contractual Liability, Insurance Bad Faith
In Neill v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co., CIV-13-627-D, 2016 WL 4384793, (W.D. Okla. Aug. 16, 2016), Neill sued State Farm for breach of contract and bad faith for failure to pay enough on a tornado claim.  There were factual issues which precluded summary judgment on the contract claim — specifically, whether the repair… Continue Reading

New Issue of Coverage Opinions out

Posted in Contractual Liability, Duty to Defend, Insurance Bad Faith
There is a new issue of Coverage Opinions out.  The newsletter discusses, inter alia: Update From The Reporters On The ALI Restatement Of Liability Insurance A Monster: Insurer Sasquashed: #1 Coverage Case Of 2016 ABSOLUTE MUST READ: Bad Faith: Turning $30K into $3M (And Easily Preventable) Consequences For Breach Of The Duty To Defend This… Continue Reading

Insurer’s Delayed Loss Adjustment & Misleading Insured about Settlement May Constitute Bad Faith – 8th Circuit, Iowa

Posted in Contractual Liability, Insurance Bad Faith, New Case
Bruhn Farms Joint Venture v. Fireman’s Fund Ins. Co. involved a dispute over the adjusted value of hail-damaged crops. The insured notified the insurer of the hail damage. Over a month later, the insurer adjusted the loss. Additional inclement weather had further damaged the crops and all salvageable crops had been harvested. Still, the insurer… Continue Reading

Failure to Provide Expert Witness Report until Eve of Trial Warrants Exclusion – 8th Circuit, Minnesota

Posted in Insurance Bad Faith
In Amplatz v. Country Mut. Ins. Co., an insured sued her insurance company for property damage caused by hail, water and wind. The insurance company denied coverage of water damage to the interior because the water leaked inside due to the insured’s deferred maintenance. The insured obtained an expert witness report stating water leaked inside… Continue Reading

Lack of Physical, Practical Means to Access Property Does Not Render Title Unmarketable; 10th Circuit, Colorado

Posted in Contractual Liability, Insurance Bad Faith
In Fidelity Nat. Title Ins. Co. v. Woody Creek Ventures, L.L.C., an insured sued its title insurance company claiming the title was unmarketable because the insured lacked a permanent right of access between parcels. The insured claimed the thirty-year revocable right of way provided by the insurer to access the second parcel was insufficient. Judgment… Continue Reading

$2M+ verdict upheld for failure to pay uninsured motorist benefits – 10th Circuit, Colorado

Posted in Insurance Bad Faith, New Case
In Etherton v. Owners Insurance Company, Etherton was hurt in a car wreck and had 3 back surgeries.  He settled with the other driver for $250,000 and wanted $750,000 from his uninsured / underinsured motorist carrier — the remainder of his $1M policy limit. The UM carrier (Owners) offered $150,000, because it did not believe… Continue Reading

Missouri under-insured motorist coverage did not apply where liability limits were higher than UIM limits 8th Circuit

Posted in Contractual Liability, Insurance Bad Faith, New Case
In Burger v. Allied Property and Cas. Ins. Co., Burger was injured in a car accident.  The other driver paid Burger the policy limits of $100,000 for damages, but Burger had additional damages so she made a claim against Allied for underinsured motorist coverage.  Summary judgment to Allied was affirmed.  The policy defines an “underinsured… Continue Reading

Underground water exclusion in homeowners policy unambiguous; 8th Circuit (Arkansas law)

Posted in Insurance Bad Faith, New Case
In Bull v. Nationwide Mutual Fire Insurance Company, Bull sued Nationwide when it failed to pay for damages caused by water that leaked from a buried pipe located beneath the garage-floor slab of Bull’s home. Summary judgment to Nationwide was affirmed on appeal.  Bull’s policy contained an exclusion for loss caused by “water … below… Continue Reading

Failure to reevaluate case after partial summary judgment is bad faith 8th Circuit, Nebraska

Posted in Insurance Bad Faith, New Case
In Bamford, Inc. v. Regent Insurance Company, one of Bamford’s employees caused an accident and Bamford told Regent to settle the resulting claims within its policy limits of $6M.  There was no settlement, and a judgment was entered against Bamford for $10.6M.    The damages included a claim on behalf of the other driver’s estate.  A… Continue Reading

Anti-concurrent causation — roof collapse 10th Circuit, Colorado

Posted in Contractual Liability, Insurance Bad Faith, New Case
In Gallegos v. Safeco Ins. Co. of America, Gallegos made a claim against Safeco when his roof collapsed due to snow and ice.  Safeco denied the claim, saying the collapse was caused, at least in part, by improper maintenance and construction. Summary judgment to Safeco was affirmed.  It was undisputed that improper maintenance contributed to… Continue Reading
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