Steven Plitt, Expert Witness Steven Plitt, Expert Witness
Insurance Bad Faith Claim Handling Expert Serving Clients Nationwide

March 2019 Archives

Illinois Court Treats SIR As A Primary Policy Requiring Exhaustion

In Lamorak Ins. Co. v. Kone, Inc., 2000 Ill. App. (1st) 163398 (Ill. App. May 15, 2018), the Illinois Appellate Court found that in policies containing self-insured retentions, that the SIR was to be treated as a primary policy that had to be exhausted before the insured could tap into the excess layer of coverage.

Is The Insurer Obligated To Notify The Insured Of Any Inadequacy Of Automobile Liability Coverage?

The question of whether an insurance company had an obligation to provide advice to the insured on the adequacy of liability coverage was recently addressed by the Washington Court of Appeals in Junfang He v. Norris v. Farmers Ins. Co. of America, 415 P.3d 1219 (Wash. App. Div. I, 2018). In this case, the Washington Appellate Court found that there were insufficient grounds to support the insured's claim that the insurance company was responsible for inadequate bodily injury limits that the insured purchased.

In For One, In For All Rule Does Not Apply To Title Insurers In Pennsylvania

Under the so-called "in for one, in for all" rule, if there is one covered claim on a multi-count complaint while other claims are not covered, the insurer is required to defend the entire action. Recently, the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Lupu v. Lone City, LLC, 903 F.3d 382 (3rd Cir. 2018) (interpreting Pennsylvania law) held that a title insurer was entitled to limit its duty to defend only to covered claims. The court found that title insurance policies differed from general liability policies because title insurance policies are limited to loss from defects that cloud or invalidate a title. Because title insurers cover past defects in title, title insurers were entitled to limit their risk by searching the public records before issuing a policy. This was different than general liability insurance which typically provided insurance against future events. Additionally, general liability insurance companies typically promise to defend "a suit" or "any suit" seeking damages for covered acts or omissions. In contrast, title insurers promise to defend only claims arising from defects in title.

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