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OREGON COURT HOLDS THAT INSURED MUST ATTEND EUO AS CONDITION PRECEDENT TO COVERAGE DESPITE OREGON STATUTE REQUIRING PROMPT PAYMENT OF PIP BENEFITS

Quarterly Newsletter Fall 2018 The majority of automobile insurance policies contain a clause providing that the insurer may require the insured to submit to an examination under oath (“EUO”) to assist with the insurer’s investigation of the claim. Many policies include the EUO provision in the conditions section of the policy and expressly make the...

WASHINGTON FEDERAL COURT FINDS NO BAD FAITH FOR INSURER’S FAILURE TO RESPOND TO ROOFER’S TENDER WHEN INSURED CANNOT SHOW HARM

Quarterly Newsletter Summer 2018 The United States District Court for the Western District of Washington recently held in Diamond Constr., LLC v. Atl. Cas. Ins. Co., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 136335 (W.D. Wash., Aug. 14, 2018) that an insurance company’s failure to respond to its insured’s tender of defense did not constitute bad faith because...

WASHINGTON FEDERAL COURT REJECTS INSURANCE FAIR CONDUCT ACT CLAIM ABSENT EVIDENCE OF UNREASONABLE DENIAL OF COVERAGE

Quarterly Newsletter Summer 2018 In 2007, Washington voters passed Referendum 67, which gave rise to Washington’s Insurance Fair Conduct Act (“IFCA”), codified in RCW 48.30 et . seq. Generally speaking, IFCA provides for a cause of action by a “first party claimant to a policy of insurance who is unreasonably denied a claim for coverage...

ALASKA SUPREME COURT FINDS MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT CLAIMANT WAS NOT “OCCUPYING” INSURED’S VEHICLE TO SEEK UIM COVERAGE UNDER INSURED’S POLICY

Quarterly Newsletter Summer 2018 Many automobile insurance policies provide underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage to the named insured, as well as others that are “occupying” an insured automobile during an accident . The interpretation of what circumstances constitute occupancy of an insured automobile by a person that is not other wise an insured under the policy...

Enforcing The Surety’s Rights To The Defaulting Principal’s Contract Funds On Federal Projects: A Step-By-Step Guide to Navigating the FAR

The Miller Act, 40 U.S.C. §§ 3131- 3134, requires a contractor (“Principal”) on a federal project to post two bonds: a performance bond and a labor and material payment bond to guarantee completion of the construction according to the plans and specifications in the contract and payment of laborers, subcontractors, and material suppliers. The Miller...

WASHINGTON SUPREME COURT FINDS THAT EXCLUSIVE MEANS OF SERVICE FOR AUTHORIZED FOREIGN INSURER IS THROUGH WASHINGTON STATE INSURANCE COMMISSIONER

Quarterly Newsletter Spring 2018 Similar to the vast majority of other states, service of legal process is governed by statute in Washington. RCW 48.05.200(1) states that an “authorized foreign or alien insurer must appoint the commissioner as its attorney to receive service of, and upon whom must be served, all legal process issued against it...

OREGON FEDERAL COURT FINDS NO BREACH OF DUTY OF GOOD FAITH DESPITE INSURER’S BREACH OF CONTRACT

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/OREGON DOCTRINE OF EQUITABLE SUBROGATION: ARE INDEMNITY AGREEMENTS NECESSARY?

Surety Law Update Spring 2018 In recent years, some sureties have waived the need for a signed indemnity agreement usually for smaller, commercial bond accounts. This decision usually is based on underwriting and business considerations designed to make the bonding process easier for the producing agent. This article briefly discusses considerations of this industry movement...

WASHINGTON COURT OF APPEALS DISMISSES OREGON CONTRACTOR’S LAWSUIT FOR FAILURE TO SUBSTANTIALLY COMPLY WITH CONTRACTOR REGISTRATION REQUIREMENTS

Surety Law Update Spring 2018 In a recent unpublished opinion, in HNS, Inc., v. Eagle Rock Quarry, No. 34695-1-III, 2018 WL 1617071, (Wash. Ct. App. Apr. 3, 2018), Division Three of the Washington Court of Appeals dismissed an Oregon contractor’s lawsuit against a Washington contractor, and its license bond, because the Oregon contractor failed to...