Recent Georgia Coverage Decisions Affecting Policyholders

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The Georgia Supreme Court recently issued three pro-policyholder decisions that provide policyholders with clarity about the scope of damages available under certain types of policies, and guidance on how insurers should respond to coverage claims in their “reservation of rights” or denial of coverage letters. The Eleventh Circuit also recently reaffirmed Georgia’s adherence to the pro-insurer rule that under Georgia law, an insurer is not required to show that it was prejudiced by a policyholder’s failure to comply with the notice provisions of a policy in order to deny coverage for late notice, although the court suggested that policyholders may be able to offer justifications for untimely notice.

While mostly favorable to insureds, these decisions highlight the need for risk managers and in-house counsel to engage experienced coverage counsel to provide assistance during insurance policy negotiations and early on during the insurance claims process.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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