Jennifer Hansen v. American Family Mutual Ins. Co. 2013COA173 (Dec. 19, 2013)

Twice the covered benefits plus attorneys’ fees and costs is what an insurance company must pay if it acts in bad faith when deciding an uninsured or underinsured insurance claim under CRS 10-3-1116. In this case, the claimant/plaintiff was awarded $0 damages on a statutory bad faith claim, but ultimately recovered three times the amount of UIM coverage available under the policy: double for statutory bad faith and a third under the settlement of a bad faith breach of contract claim. The court of appeals affirmed. First, it held that the policies were ambiguous on the identity of the insured, allowing the jury to conclude claimant was an insured. Then it held that even if the question of coverage was fairly debatable, delay or denying coverage was not necessarily reasonable. And finally, a successful statutory claim independently entitles a claimant to double the covered benefits.

http://www.courts.state.co.us/Courts/Court_of_Appeals/Opinion/2013/11CA1430-PD.pdf

http://www.cobar.org/opinions/opinion.cfm?opinionid=9194&courtid=1

 

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Filed under Contracts, Insurance, Personal Injury

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