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F. Inge Johnstone
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bad faith Archives

Eleventh Circuit Decision Shows That Insurance Bad Faith Persists in Alabama

In Atlantic Specialty Insurance Co. v. Mr. Charlie Adventures, LLC, a case arising out of Mobile, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals held that an insured presented sufficient evidence to go to the jury on whehter the insurance company committed bad faith. Here are the facts:

Alabama Federal Court Dismisses Bad Faith Suit Against Insurer

In Ware v. Nationwide Insurance Company, the federal court in Birmingham dismmised a bad faith/breach of contract suit against Nationwide.  This bad faith case involved a claim under a homeowner's policy for mold and water damage to a home.  The insured claimed that the damage was caused by rainwater and the insurer claimed it was caused by groundwater. 

In Bad Faith Lawsuits Against Insurance Companies, Policyholders Are Usually Entitled to the Claim File

In bad faith cases against insurance companies, policyholders are usually entitled to see a copy of the insurance company's claims file, even if an attorney is involved. Cedell v. Farmers Insurance Company of Washington, a case out of Washington state, provides a good example. In this case, the Washington Supreme Court held that in a bad faith case the attorney client privilege does not apply unless the insurance company can prove that the attorney was not engaged in the investigation, analysis and negotiation of the claim, but instead was hired to provide an independent opinion on the liability of the insurance company. This means that an insurance company cannot avoid producing its claims file by hiring an attorney to do the things that a claims adjuster normally would do.

When Insurance Companies Don't Act in Bad Faith

I sue insurance companies that commit bad faith by improperly denying claims and handling things the "wrong way."  However, I enjoy seeing insurance companies that do things the "right way."  Click here for a link to a list of the five most ethical insurance companies as reported by Property Casualty 360 and compiled by the Ethisphere Institute. 

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