Category: Northwest Insurance Law

Showing 13 - 24 of 41 results.

WASHINGTON COURT FINDS NO BAD FAITH DESPITE PROLONGED CLAIM RECONCILIATION…

Quarterly Newsletter Spring 2018 An insurer’s excessively low claim settlement offer can give rise to a claim under Washington’s Insurance Fair Conduct Act (“IFCA”) if the insurer made the offer knowing that the value of the claim was actually much higher. In a recent opinion, however, a Washing ton court rejected an insured’s bad faith [...]

OREGON FEDERAL COURT FINDS NO BREACH OF DUTY OF GOOD…

Quarterly Newsletter Spring 2018 In a recent decision, an Oregon Court rejected an insurer’s position that the terms “surface water” and “flood water” referred to natural water sources as well as man-made sources, thereby finding that the insurers breached the contract by denying coverage. However, the Court reinforced the general rule in Oregon that, despite [...]

WASHINGTON COURT FINDS NO BAD FAITH DESPITE INCORRECT ASSESSMENT BY…

Quarterly Newsletter Winter 2017 Insurers and policyholders are often faced with a situation of whether depreciation may be recovered when the insured sustains a covered loss but does not use “new construction materials” to rebuild their house. In a recent opinion, a Washington Court rejected an insurer’s position that the term “new,” in the replacement [...]

WASHINGTON COURT LIMITS DISCOVERY OF INSURER’S CLAIMS-HANDLING MANUALS AND GUIDELINES…

Quarterly Newsletter Winter 2017 Insurers faced with a bad faith lawsuit are often asked in discovery to produce copies of claim handling manuals and guidelines.  Oftentimes such discovery requests are broad and request any manuals or guidelines used by the insurer regardless of whether it specifically applies to the policy at issue.  Courts in various [...]

WASHINGTON COURT OF APPEALS REFUSES TO ALLOW PRODUCTION OF POST-LITIGATION…

Quarterly Newsletter Fall 2017 Ever since the Washington Supreme Court rendered its decision in Cedell v. Farmers Ins. Co. of Washington, 176 Wn.2d 686, 295 P.3d 239 (2013), state and federal courts in Washington have grappled with the fallout. One of key questions is when, and to what extent, policyholders are entitled to discovery of [...]

WASHINGTON APPELLATE COURT FINDS INSURER NOT COLLATERALLY ESTOPPED FROM CONTESTING…

Quarterly Newsletter Summer 2017 In Washington, insurers can be subject to collateral estoppel, which bars litigation of the same issue in a subsequent declaratory judgment action, when that issue was actually litigated in the underlying proceeding. The circumstances that allow collateral estoppel to apply vary on a case-by-case basis, but generally turn on whether the [...]

OREGON COURT OF APPEALS RENDERS IMPORTANT DECISION ON VARIOUS COVERAGE…

Quarterly Newsletter Summer 2017 In an effort to stem the flood of claims for coverage arising out of construction defect lawsuits, insurers have included various exclusions and endorsements to limit coverage for such claims in their commercial general liability policies issued to construction contractors and subcontractors. One such exclusion, titled the “Multi-Unit New Residential Construction” [...]

ALASKA SUPREME COURT FINDS DUTY OWED BY LIABILITY INSURER TO…

Quarterly Newsletter Spring 2017 Over the years, policyholders and their attorneys have sought to assert tort claims directly against liability insurers for alleged mishandling of liability claims. While the general rule in many jurisdictions is that third party claimants have no independent cause of action against the policyholder’s liability insurer absent an assignment of rights [...]

WASHINGTON FEDERAL COURT FINDS NO “OCCURRENCE” UNDER HOMEOWNERS’ POLICY BASED…

Quarterly Newsletter Fall 2016 Two of the most commonly disputed issues regarding coverage under the insuring clause of a homeowner’s liability policy are whether “property damage” took place, and whether such damage was caused by an “occurrence.” In a recent case in Washington, the Court adopted a broad interpretation of “property damage” under a homeowner’s [...]

IDAHO SUPREME COURT RULES ANTI-STACKING CLAUSE IN INSURANCE POLICY IS…

Quarterly Newsletter Fall 2016 Insurers seeking to limit their liability may include so-called “anti-stacking” language in their policies. Such policy language is designed to limit the total available coverage to one policy and prevent the insured from “stacking” multiple policies on top of each other to expand the limits of available coverage. However, despite its [...]

WASHINGTON COURT FINDS NO “COLLAPSE” COVERAGE DESPITE ENGINEER’S OPINION THAT…

Quarterly Newsletter Fall 2016 For decades, Washington insurers have faced building “collapse” claims despite the fact that no Washington Court had rendered a clear definition of what “collapse” meant. That changed last year when the Washington Supreme Court held in Queen Anne Park Homeowners Association v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Company, 352 P.3d 790 [...]

WASHINGTON APPELLATE COURT EXPANDS APPLICATION OF IMPLIED WAIVER OF ATTORNEY-CLIENT…

Quarterly Newsletter Fall 2016 On July 26, 2016, the Washington Court of Appeals, Division II held that an implied waiver of attorney-client communications may occur when an insured enters into a covenant judgment with a claimant and an insurer challenges the reasonableness of the settlement. However, the Court held that, under the proper standards, the [...]