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This week’s decision by the Eleventh Circuit in McNamara v. Gov't Employees Ins. Co., __ F.4th __, No. 20-13251, 2022 WL 1013043 (11th Cir. Apr. 5, 2022) expands the circumstances under which insurers in Florida may face exposure to third-party bad faith claims. At issue in McNamara was whether a bad faith action based on the insurer’s failure to settle a claim within policy limits may be predicated on a consent judgment between the claimant and insured, rather than a litigated judgment against the insured.
In Florida, a liability insurer has an affirmative duty to initiate settlement negotiations before receiving a settlement demand, but only in cases where liability is clear, the policy limits are insufficient, and there is a likelihood of an excess judgment against the insured. Here, we analyse a recent case addressing the scope of this duty.
The way in which people and goods travel is changing rapidly. As a new era of transport continues to unfold, Kennedys is here to keep you up to date on the latest developments and what they mean for you and your business.
Newly signed bill opens the door for bad faith suits against auto insurers providing UM and UIM benefits
On January 19, 2022, New Jersey’s Governor, Phil Murphy, passed S.B. 1559 into law, referred to as the New Jersey Insurance Fair Conduct Act (“IFCA”). The IFCA creates a private cause of action for injured motorists to sue insurance companies that “unreasonably” deny or delay paying claims for uninsured (“UM”) or underinsured motorist (“UIM”) coverage.
On April 30, 2021, the Florida legislature passed Senate Bill 54 (“SB-54”), which proposed sweeping changes to Florida’s auto insurance system, including repealing Florida’s no-fault personal injury protection (“PIP”) system and banning punitive damages on plaintiffs’ bad faith claims.
On July 27, 2021, the Appellate Division issued an opinion clarifying an automobile insurance carrier’s rights and obligations when its named insured selects the ‘health insurance primary’ option of their automobile insurance policy.
Huggins v. Aquilar; New Jersey Supreme Court reviews minimum auto liability limits and escape clauses
On April 21, 2021, the Supreme Court of New Jersey issued its opinion in Huggins v. Aquilar, No. 084200, 2021 WL 1555277, --- A.3d --- (N.J. Apr. 21, 2021). The Court affirmed the trial court’s decision to strike a provision in the garage policy issued by Federal Insurance Company (“Federal”) that fully eliminated coverage to permissive users of the car dealership’s vehicles that carried at least $15,000 in their own personal auto insurance. The Court explained that such “shifting of responsibility from owner to driver does not fulfill the public policy of the compulsory insurance requirement and its related permissive user doctrine.”
Two appeals pending before the New Jersey Supreme Court this year concern availability of automobile insurance coverage when the driver is insured under another insurance policy.
The Illinois Appellate Court recently held that a former stepson remained a “relative by marriage” within meaning of his former stepmother’s auto policies, such that he may be entitled to uninsured motorist and medical payments coverage under the policies.
As one of the largest studies on attitudes towards autonomous vehicles to date, our new report explores public support across the globe and insights from key industry leaders.