Strategies, Challenges, and Answers

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...]

If A Cause Of Action Is Not Specifically Excluded By The Policy, You May Have To Look To The Pleadings And The Alleged There To Decide If Coverage Extends To Those Actions

In the case of Versatility, Inc. v. Capitol Indemnity. Corp., 2:10-CV-1942 JCM (PAL) slip op. (D. Nev. 2011) the U.S. District Court for Nevada explained that if injuries alleged in an underlying complaint arise from an excluded event, that failure to prevent the injury due to alleged negligent hiring or supervision are not covered either. Versatility was a drinking establishment. One of its patrons claimed that an employee assaulted him on the premises. The patron sued Versatility alleging … [Read more...]