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

Liability Archives

IN DETERMINING INSURANCE AGENT LIABILITY FOR FAILURE TO PROCURE, A FUNDAMENTAL QUESTION IS WHETHER THE COVERAGE SOUGHT WAS EVEN AVAILABLE

According to the Wisconsin Court of Appeals, to assert an insurance agent's liability for negligent failure to procure requested coverage, the customer must establish that the coverage requested was actually available.

WASHINGTON COURT PREVENTS DUPLICATION OF LIABILITY AND UIM COVERAGES UNDER SINGLE AUTO POLICY

In Thompson v. Progressive Direct Insurance Co., 438 P.3d 53 (Wash. App. 2019) the court held that UIM coverage did not extend to a third party guest passenger in a covered auto under Progressive's policy. The Progressive policy contained an exclusion of the named insured's own covered vehicle from the policy's UIM coverage provision in situations where a guest passenger was seeking benefits for both liability and UIM coverage. Under the Progressive UIM portion of the policy, the policy defined an insured person as including any person occupying, but not operating, a covered auto. The policy also stated that a UIM vehicle did not include a covered auto under the policy unless the person insured was a named insured or relative of a named insured. In effect, the exclusion precluded guest passengers in a covered vehicle from recovering under both the liability and UIM provisions of the policy. The Washington Court of Appeals held that the non-duplication policy definition did not violate Washington law or public policy. The Court upheld the Washington Supreme Court's decision that had themselves upheld the validity of UIM exclusions of third party guest passengers.

THIRD PARTY WORKERS COMPENSATION CLAIM ADMINISTRATORS ARE NOT SUBJECT TO BAD FAITH LIABILITY UNDER IOWA LAW ACCORDING TO THE IOWA SUPREME COURT

The issue of whether Iowa's common law cause of action for bad faith failure to pay workers compensation claims applied to third party claim administrators (TPAs) in the workers comp context was recently addressed by the Iowa Supreme Court by way of certified question in DeDios v. Indemnity Ins. Co. of North America, 927 N.W.2d 611, 2019 WL 2063289 (IA 5/10/19), as amended 5/14/19.

ATTORNEYS FEES AWARDED TO A PREVAILING PARTY WERE DETERMINED TO NOT BE SUPPLEMENTAL PAYMENTS UNDER A LIABILITY POLICY ACCORDING TO A MASSACHUSETTS APPELLATE COURT

In Styller v. National Fire & Marine Ins. Co., 95 Mass. App. Ct. 538, 128 N.E.3d 612 (2019) the Massachusetts Courts of Appeals held that a prevailing party's attorneys' fees did not constitute "costs taxed" against the insured within the meaning of the liability policy's supplemental payment provision. The Court held that attorneys fees were a separate category of expense from costs when used in a technical sense. 

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