News & Analysis as of

Texas Supreme Court Denies Policyholder’s Discovery Regarding Claims Handling

It is rare to see a state’s highest court address a discovery issue. But the Supreme Court of Texas did just that recently in In re National Lloyds Insurance Co., holding that a policyholder’s demands for discovery about how...more

Is That Covered? Hail Damage

Back in May, 2014, parts of Berks and Lancaster counties were hit with a freak hail storm. With hail as large as tennis balls reported, homes and cars suffered significant damage. Hail damage is generally covered under auto...more

Southern District of California Denies Motion to Dismiss Bad Faith Claim in Homeowners Policy Dispute

Eastman v. Allstate Ins. Co., No. 14cv0703, 2014 WL 5355036 (S.D. Cal. Oct. 20, 2014) - Southern District of California denies motion to dismiss bad faith claim in connection with coverage dispute under homeowners...more

Fifth Circuit Reaffirms the Importance of a Reasonable Claim Investigation Prior to Denial

In Santacruz v. Allstate Texas Lloyds, Inc., 2014 WL 5870429 (Nov. 13, 2014), the 5th Circuit allowed a policyholder to pursue a claim for common law and statutory bad faith even though the policyholder repaired the alleged...more

Florida High Court To Decide Whether State Insurer Is Immune From Statutory Bad Faith Claims

The Florida Supreme Court has accepted for review a First District decision holding that Florida’s state insurer of last resort, Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, is not immune from a statutory bad faith failure to...more

Insurer’s Liability for Breach of Contract Is Not a Condition Precedent to Insured’s Bad Faith Claim

A Florida appeals court recently held in Cammarata v. State Farm Florida Insurance Co. that an insured is not required to show that its insurer breached the insurance policy before it can bring a claim for bad faith. Although...more

Alabama Supreme Court Clarifies (And Criticizes) Its Bad Faith Jurisprudence

In an opinion released for publication on August 14th, 2014, one year after issuance, the Alabama Supreme Court unanimously held that the state has but one tort of bad faith, albeit with two separate methods of proof, and...more

Bad Faith Sentinel - September 2014

In This Issue: - Southern District of New York: It is Unlawful for an Insurer to Withhold Payment When Some Portion on an Insured’s Entitlement is Undisputed - Eastern District of Pennsylvania: State Farm...more

Eastern District of Pennsylvania Denies Bad Faith Claim in Homeowner’s Policy Dispute

White v. Metro. Direct Prop. and Cas. Ins. Co., Civ. A. No. 13-434 (E.D. Pa. July 29, 2014) - Eastern District of Pennsylvania enters summary judgment for the insurer on statutory bad faith claim in coverage dispute...more

Is That Covered? Insurer Refusal to Pay for Full Property Loss May Be Bad Faith

If you or your clients have ever had the experience of submitting a claim to an insurance company, you probably know how difficult it can be to get the insurance company to pay the full amount of damages. Even if the company...more

Florida: Coverage Determination, Not Breach of Contract, Permits Bad Faith Litigation

The risk of bad faith litigation continues to increase for insurance companies following a Florida court’s determination that an insurer’s confirmed liability for coverage and the scope of damages – but not breach of contract...more

Bad Faith Sentinel - August 2014

In This Issue: - Northern District of Texas Dismisses Bad Faith Claims in Well-Control Policy Dispute - District of South Dakota: Denying a Claim for Reasons Known to be False is Not a Reasonable Basis to Deny...more

Public Adjusters Do Not Have Free Pass To The Stand

In Falcon v. State Farm Lloyds, the Western District of Texas reminded litigants that licensed public adjusters are not immune from expert witness qualification requirements. Namely, a public adjuster’s license does not...more

Western District of Texas: An Expert Must Base a Determination of Bad Faith on the Facts Available to the Insurer When it Acted

Falcon v. State Farm Lloyds, No. 1:12-CV-491-DAE, 2014 WL 2711849 (W.D. Tex. June 16, 2014) - The Western District of Texas finds that a policyholder’s expert witness is not qualified to opine when he does not...more

Bad Faith Sentinel - May 2014

In This Issue: - Northern District of New York: Primary Insurer That Waited Nine Years to Tender Policy Limits to Injured Plaintiff Was Liable to Excess Carrier for Bad Faith - Middle District of Pennsylvania:...more

Eastern District of New York Dismisses Bad Faith Claims in Dispute Over Property Damage Caused by Hurricane Sandy

433 Main St. Realty, LLC v. Darwin Nat’l Assurance Co., No. 14-cv-587 (NGG) (VMS) (E.D.N.Y. Apr. 22, 2014) - Eastern District of New York dismisses claims for breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing and...more

Middle District of Pennsylvania: Neither Unprofessionalism of Lower-Level Claims Employees Nor Failure to Interview Insured’s...

Honesdale Volunteer Ambulance Corp. Inc. v. Am. Alternative Ins. Corp., CIV.A. 3:11-1488, 2014 WL 1203317 (M.D. Pa. Mar. 24, 2014) - Middle District of Pennsylvania grants summary judgment on bad faith claim where...more

Northern District of New York: Primary Insurer That Waited Nine Years to Tender Policy Limits to Injured Plaintiff Was Liable to...

Quincy Mutual Fire Ins. Co. v. New York Central Mutual Fire Ins. Co., No 3:12-CV-1041-DEP (N.D.N.Y. March 31, 2014) - The Northern District of New York held that a primary carrier that declined to settle an underlying...more

California Court Of Appeals: Discrepancy Between Insurer’s Initial Repair Estimate And Actual Cost Of Repairs Did Not Constitute...

Meuser v. Allstate Ins. Co., A136243, 2014 WL 802535 (Cal. Ct. App. Feb. 28, 2014). Court of Appeals of California finds no breach of contract or bad faith where actual cost of repairing fire-damaged home was higher...more

Except In Two Circumstances, There Can Be No Claim For Bad Faith Without A Breach of The Contract – The Houston Fourteenth Court...

In Lexington Insurance Company v. Jaw The Pointe, LLC, 2013 WL 3968445 (Houston [14th Dist.] August 1, 2013) the dispute arose from Hurricane Ike-related damage to an apartment complex in Galveston, Texas. The property...more

Even If Done With Good Intentions, Damaging Property Can Lead to Post-Foreclosure Liability For Borrowers

A recent appellate court decision has expanded the potential recovery a lender may pursue against a defaulting borrower. In Fait v. New Faze Development Inc., the Third District Court of Appeal significantly expanded an...more

Connecticut Supreme Court Rules on Issues Involving Commercial General Liability Policies

In Capstone Building Corporation v. American Motorists Insurance Company, 308 Conn. 760 (June 11, 2013) (SC 18886), the Connecticut Supreme Court answered three questions of Connecticut insurance law certified from the...more

Texas Court – Appraisal Award Insufficient to Defeat Insured’s Breach of Contract Claim

A recent federal opinion from Judge Sam Lindsay of the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division, found that an insurer’s payment of an appraisal award was insufficient to defeat the insured’s breach of contract claim, and...more

Insurance Coverage: January 2013

There were no significant decisions of the Supreme Court related to coverage this past quarter. The Courts of Appeal have provided us with several more decisions on contribution and subrogation. The following are brief...more

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