Strategies, Challenges, and Answers

An Auto Insurance Company’s Refusal To Pay Claim, Standing Alone, Is Not Bad Faith

Ashley Aiello filed suit against her auto carrier Geico General Insurance Company.  She alleged that she was hurt when an unidentified driver struck her car and fled the scene.She said that she filed an uninsured motorist claim with Geico.  She filed suit when as she alleged Geico refused to pay her UM benefits.  Aiello’s suit included causes of action for breach of contract and bad faith.In Aiello v. Geico Gen. Ins. Co., No. 2:19-cv-00610-APG-VCF, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 84191 (D. Nev. … [Read more...]

Ambiguous State Farm UM Coverage Allows Wife To Recover For Separate Emotional Distress Caused By Witnessing Husband’s Death

Mrs. Brewington rode her motorcycle a little behind Mr. Brewington on State Highway 49 in California. An oncoming rider crossed the center line striking Mr. Brewington and ejecting him from his bike. Mrs. Brewington witnessed the collision, stopped and called for assistance. Mr. Brewington died on the way to the hospital with Mrs. Brewington by his side.The negligent rider had no liability insurance. However, the Brewingtons had UM coverage with their motorcycle carrier State Farm in the … [Read more...]

Investigating Death During A Life Policy’s Contestability Period Is Not Bad Faith

The story goes that back in the 19th century, some life insurance companies were not fond of paying claims.  Apparently, after the insured died, life insurance companies would regularly investigate and if a misstatement was found in the application, would then deny the claims.  According to Steven Rothschild of the LIFE Foundation, the various states responded by passing incontestability statutes.  Absent outright fraud, or failure to pay premiums, these incontestability statutes limited the … [Read more...]

No Bad Faith Where There Is A Reasonable Dispute As To Coverage

Gary Lewis had a minimum limits auto policy with United Automobile Insurance Company.  UAIC notified Lewis that the policy was going to lapse.  Lewis took no action and made no payment until July 10, 2007.  However that payment was made ten days after he was supposed to have sent payment according to the renewal notice and two days after Lewis hit and seriously injured minor pedestrian Cheyanne Nalder.When Cheyanne Nalder’s father sued Lewis in behalf of his daughter, UAIC did not step … [Read more...]

The Statute Of Limitations For An Underinsured Motorist Claim Does Not Start To Run Until The Carrier Has Been Called On To Satisfy Its Duties Under The Policy And Has Failed To Do So

Most lawyers can recite by memory the number of years available under statute to bring certain types of lawsuits.  In Nevada, the statutes of limitation are found in Chapter 11 of the Nevada Revised Statutes.Since insurance policies are contracts, the right to bring an action for breach of a policy is generally limited to six years.  See NRS 11.190(1)(a).  In Grayson v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins., 971 P.2d 798 (1998) the Nevada Supreme Court faced the question of the when this six-year … [Read more...]