State Farm

News & Analysis as of

Why Won’t the Insurer Tell Me the Policy Limits?

Consider that most drivers in California maintain the absolute minimum amount of insurance. The limits for the minimum are hardly adequate in about 50% of all accidents. That means it is very important to determine whether...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: State Farm Cannot Refuse Appraisal of Superstorm Sandy Damage

Currie v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co., No. CIV.A. 13-6713, 2014 WL 4081051 (E.D. Pa. Aug. 19, 2014). After Superstorm Sandy damaged the insureds’ house, they and their insurer came to markedly different assessments of...more

Pennsylvania Court Addresses What Is a Coverage Dispute for Appraisal Purposes

Last month, a Pennsylvania federal court rejected the notion that a dispute over whether an admittedly covered occurrence necessitated repair of certain discrete portions of the damaged structure was a coverage dispute,...more

Kentucky Court of Appeals Holds Statute of Limitations on Underinsured Motorist Claims Begins to Run Upon Denial of Claim

In a case of first impression, a divided panel of the Kentucky Court of Appeals recently held in Hensley v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 2013-CA-000006-MR (Ky. App. Aug. 15, 2014), that the statute of limitations on...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

Florida Appellate Court: “Coverage Liability” Can Be Basis for Bad Faith in Suit Involving First Party Appraisal

On Wednesday, Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal issued an opinion concerning the prerequisites for bringing bad faith claims in Florida. In an en banc ruling, the Court held in Cammarata v. State Farm Florida Ins....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

Seventh Circuit Confirms: In-House Insurance Lawyers Are as Good as the Name-Brand Product

In 2012, a plaintiff who challenged State Farm’s practice of using in-house attorneys to defend its auto insureds against third-party claims asserted that in-house lawyers constitute "a different … product" from the type of...more

Argument That Rain Alone Can’t Cause a Flood “Would be News to Noah” Says a California Court

Last month an appellate court in California looked to the Bible, citing the Book of Genesis when rejecting the argument that an inundation caused solely by heavy rain was not an excluded flood. The opinion was handed down in...more

ODSP – Is it deductible from Non-Earner and Income Replacement Benefits?

The decision by Arbitrator Alves in Anglin v. State Farm [FSCO A11-000817] resolves the issue of whether an Insurer is able to deduct ODSP payments from non-earner benefits. In this case, at the time of the accident, the...more

State Farm’s Relentless Pursuit to Deny Coverage for TCPA Cases

As policyholder lawyers, one can usually count on a few basic mistakes that insurers will make. First, they wrongfully deny coverage and fail to defend. They abandon their insured who is then left to its own devices to...more

Failure to File a Proof of Loss is Fatal, and the Defense Does Not Require a Showing of Prejudice

On June 3, Connecticut’s intermediate level appellate court held that the failure of a policyholder to file a sworn statement in proof of loss was fatal to his claim....more

Summertime Blues: Eleventh Circuit Doubles Down on Strict TCPA Liability for Texts and Autodialed and Prerecorded Calls to Cell...

Over the Spring, we reported on how the Eleventh Circuit’s decision in Osorio v. State Farm brought that court into alignment with the Seventh Circuit on how restrictions in the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) on...more

Washington Court Rules Insurer’s Duty to Defend Environmental Liability is Triggered by Agency’s Explicit or Implicit Threat of...

A party faced with strict liability under the Washington Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA) for the costs of cleaning up environmental contamination often has insurance that might apply, but a lingering question has been at what...more

Individualized Inquiries Defeat Class Certification In UM/UIM Case—Again

Since around 2003, several class action lawsuits have been brought in Colorado against insurers alleging that it was misleading and deceptive to offer for purchase uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage on...more

FCC Reinforces that Those Who Knowingly Release Cell Numbers Grant Permission to be Called Under the TCPA--But Companies May Still...

We recently reported on two FCC declaratory rulings interpreting the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), in the context of social-network text messages and package-delivery calls, that included broad, business-friendly...more

Serving Privilege Log After Denial of Protective Order

In this insurance case, the trial court denied State Farm’s motion for protective order. On Appeal, State Farm argued that the trial court should have conducted an in-camera review or addressed the objections to the...more

Plaintiff Counsel’s Impact on Limitation Periods

The recent decision in Conrad v. State Farm confirms once again that a Plaintiff cannot successfully argue that they did not understand that an Explanation of Benefits (OCF-9) terminating or denying benefits starts a...more

Insurer’s Defense Obligation Limited To Suits Seeking Damages

Recently, the California Court of Appeal held that, under California law, an insurer is not obligated to defend a lawsuit that does not seek monetary damages....more

Insurance Company that Issues Liability Policy does not need to Defend Insured Party Against a Non-Financial Claim

In San Miguel Community Association v. State Farm General Insurance Company (2013) 220 Cal.App.4th 798), a third party's failure to seek compensatory damages against an insured rendered their dispute exempt from the insured’s...more

Ohio Supreme Court Adopts Comcast and Wal-Mart Standards For Class Certification; Reverses Class Certification Due To...

Last week, the Ohio Supreme Court denied class certification in Cullen v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, Slip Opinion No. 2013-Ohio-4733 (Nov. 5 , 2013). In a 5-2 decision, the Court overruled the trial and...more

California: Right to Independent Counsel Evaporates After Insurer Withdraws Reservation of Rights

A California appellate court recently held that insurers are not obligated to provide an insured with independent counsel after the insurer withdraws the reservation of rights which generated the right to independent counsel....more

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