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

UNDER ALABAMA LAW, INSURANCE AGENTS AND BROKERS DO NOT OWE A DUTY TO THEIR CUSTOMER TO ADVISE REGARDING THE ADEQUACY OF THE CUSTOMER'S INSURANCE COVERAGE

In Somnus Mattress Corp. v. Hilson, No. 1170250, 2018 WL 6715777 (Ala. Dec. 21, 2018) the Court found that the insurance agent and broker in that case had no duty to advise the insured of the adequacy of its insurance coverage. The allegation that the agent made statements to the insured that the insured did not need business income coverage was nothing more than an opinion that could be accepted or rejected by the insured. Of significance to the Court was the fact that the insured had had a prior loss which involved a loss of business income and the fact that the insured knew its own finances and needs. Under the totality of the circumstances, the Court found that the insured did not justifiably rely upon the agent's opinion regarding the need for business income coverage, even if the Court were to have interpreted Missouri law as imposing a duty on the agent to advise the insured about the adequacy of coverage that it was purchasing.

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