Practice Areas & Industries: Fineman Krekstein & Harris, P.C.


Insurance Coverage and Bad FaithReturn to Practice Areas & Industries

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Fineman Krekstein & Harris has developed an expertise in insurance coverage and insurance bad faith law.  We have served as counselors in rendering coverage opinion letters and advising clients on coverage claims, and how to institute practices that will preclude bad faith claims.  We have also litigated coverage and bad faith cases when necessary to assert or defend the carrier’s position.  We understand these issues from the perspective of preventing unnecessary problems before they have a chance to arise, to litigating them before judge or jury.  Our experience in bad faith litigation is well reflected in our attorneys’ practice as counselors and litigators, as speakers and authors, and in our comprehensive Pennsylvania Insurance Bad Faith Case Blog.

Representative Matters

  • Represented an insurance carrier that was sued for breach of contract and bad faith arising out of the insurer’s denial of coverage for a civil law suit in which the insured allegedly accidently killed the decedent.  The insured pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter admitting that he had an imperfect claim of self-defense, when he struck the decedent with a loaded pistol that accidently discharged, killing the decedent.  Agreeing with our interpretation of the criminal acts exclusion in the insurance policy, the court found that the insurer acted properly in denying coverage because it was the criminal nature of the act, not the degree of criminal culpability, which triggered the applicability of the exclusion.
  • Won a judgment on the pleadings in a declaratory judgment action filed on the insurer’s behalf in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas’ Commerce Case Management Program.  The Court found that the alleged use of the automobile attributed to the insured’s employee, which allegedly caused the harm, was excluded under the policy.  The underlying case had been stayed pending the resolution of the declaratory judgment action, which was decided on a Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings.
  • Successfully obtained a dismissal of an insured's claims for breach of contract and bad faith against an insurer in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The insured had been sued for harm caused on its business premises, and sought a defense from its carrier. The carrier denied that it had any obligations to defend or cover the loss in that underlying action based on the facts and the policy's terms and conditions. The insured then brought the breach of contract and bad faith claims in federal court, based on the denial. The Firm's motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure12(b)(6) was successful, the Court first finding no basis for coverage as to the underlying claims, which in turn eliminated any possibility of bad faith.
  • The Firm obtained a successful decision in a bad faith case on behalf of the insurer and a third party administrator in the Court of Common Pleas of Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania; and then were successful in having that  decision upheld on appeal by the Superior Court of Pennsylvania.   The issue focused on the timing of the alleged underlying injury, an alleged duty to find the actual insurer, and the insured’s claims that the reservation of rights letter caused him actionable physical harm.  The Firm won a motion for summary judgment, contesting each of the numerous theories of liability being advanced by the insured, as the court found no duty breached.  The Superior Court affirmed.
  • Represented an insurance carrier in a case in which police officers sought a defense and indemnity in response to plaintiffs’ claims that the officers sent anonymous harassing text messages. Plaintiffs sued the officers alleging defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence per se for violations of two criminal statutes - harassment and disorderly conduct - invasion of privacy and conspiracy.   The trial court ruled in the insurer’s favor, finding that there was no duty to defend and indemnify the police officers as there was no occurrence to trigger coverage and that the allegations of intentional conduct fell outside the scope of their employment.
  • Obtained summary judgment in favor of the insurer for its alleged bad faith in denying a water loss claim.   Plaintiff alleged that she had interior water damage to her home due to wind damage to the roof.  After conducting a thorough inspection of the roof and the interior, the insurer concluded that none of the damage caused to the interior or the roof was caused by wind damage. The plaintiff instituted an action against the insurer arising out of its denial to pay benefits for her alleged loss.  The court agreed that the insurer acted reasonably in denying coverage and did not act in bad faith.

Articles Authored by Lawyers at this office:

Court Dismisses Bank’s Claim Against Title Insurer for Failure to State a Claim and Complaint Did Not Set Out Bad Faith and Did Not Set Out the Kind Of Claim that Could Allow for Bad Faith Even Where There Was No Coverage Obligation (Middle District)
, November 13, 2013
In Bank of Am., N.A. v. Martin, plaintiff brought suit against the insurer alleging breach of contract and bad faith for its failure to pay plaintiff’s claim under its title insurance after an error was discovered in the title. The title in question was created when defendant landowners took...

District Court Reaffirms its Refusal to Find a Fiduciary Duty Between Surety and Policyholder (Western District)
, November 13, 2013
In Reginella Constr. Co. v. Travelers Cas. & Sur. Co. of Am., the District Court refused to reopen its judgment dismissing plaintiff’s fiduciary-in-fact, tortious interference, and bad faith claims.

Products-Completed Operations Hazard Extends Only to Work by General Contractor; Damage Caused by Subcontractor Not Covered, Precluding Bad Faith Claim for Denial (Western District)
, November 13, 2013
In Allegheny Design Mgmt. v. Travelers Indem. Co. of Am., plaintiff, a general contractor, brought suit against its insurer after a scratch was discovered in the store-front glass at one of plaintiff’s project sites, and the insurer refused to cover the claim. The scratch was discovered...

Reversing on Breach of Contract Claims in the Insured’s Favor, Third Circuit Still Affirms Summary Judgment on Bad Faith Count for Failure to Meet Evidentiary Burden of Clear and Convincing Evidence, and that Suggestions from Expert Reports Alone are Not Sufficient to Establish Bad Faith Claim (Third Circuit)
, November 13, 2013
In U.S. Fire. Ins. Co. v. Kelman Bottles, the insured brought suit against its insurers for breach of contract after its claims for damages resulting from a glass melting furnace blow-up in its factory were denied. Defendant produces glass bottles, requiring it to store approximately 220 tons of...

Bad Faith Claim Time Barred by Two Year Statute of Limitations Despite Policy Statute of Limitations of Three Years; Time of Denial is Time when Statute Begins (Western District)
, November 08, 2013
In Sigal v. Gen. Am. Life Ins. Co., plaintiff brought suit alleging breach of contract and bad faith for two separate denials in 2005 and 2010 of his disability claims. Plaintiff, a surgical opthamologist, purchased three disability policies with “Own Occupation” riders from the insurer...

Court Finds No Bad Faith Where Insurer Delayed Settlement Pending Expert Report on Causation (Blair County)
, November 08, 2013
In Rhodes v. USAA Cas. Ins. Co., plaintiffs brought suit alleging the insurer had acted in bad faith by refusing to meet their settlement demand of $175,000 on their underinsured claim sooner than it did. To prove such a claim, the first prong of the bad faith statute (the insurer lacked a...

Court Holds "Extreme Delay" in Processing of Claim and Tender of Payment can Constitute Bad Faith under the Statute; Enters $2m Judgment against Insurer, including Punitive Damages and Attorneys' Fees (Lackawanna County)
, November 08, 2013
In Davis v. Fidelity Nat’l Ins. Co., plaintiffs brought suit against the insurer alleging breach of contract and bad faith for the insurer’s failure to settle its claim under a title insurance policy for five years. Plaintiffs owned a parcel of land on which they intended to build...

Insurer’s “Paid When Incurred” Disbursement of Funds Did Not Breach Contract; No Bad Faith (Philadelphia Federal)
, October 28, 2013
In Pellegrino v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co., plaintiffs brought suit alleging the insurer’s practice of withholding funds for certain repairs as “paid when incurred” (PWI) was a breach of contract and constituted bad faith. Plaintiffs’ roof and siding were damaged in a...

Bad Faith Claims Alleging Delay in Investigation, Unreasonable Interpretation of Policy, and Lack of ALE Payment can Advance to Trial, Though Summary Judgment Granted on Claim Relating OT Aggregation and Depreciation on Personal Property (Philadelphia Federal)
, October 23, 2013
In Hudgins v. Travelers Home & Marine Ins. Co., plaintiff’s home was destroyed in a fire. An investigation of the cause of the fire took place, and plaintiff’s son was arrested and charged with arson. The insurer continued its investigation, but failed to make a decision as to...

Court Quashed Subpoena Directed to Attorney of Third Party as it Sought Information Irrelevant to the Carrier’s Claims Handling on an Irrelevant Contract, and Would Violate the Attorney Client Privilege and Work Product Doctrine (New Jersey Federal)
, October 22, 2013
In Kull v. Arrowood Indemnity Company, the court addressed a motion to quash a subpoena issued in connection with an underlying case in federal district court in Ohio. At the time of the subpoena, the only litigation issue in Ohio was a bad faith insurance claim by an insured corporation against...

Court Refuses to Dismiss UIM Bad Faith Claim Where Even Facts Alleged from Which Bad Faith in Claims Handling and Delay in Settlement or Investigation May be Inferred from Allegations (Middle District)
, October 22, 2013
In Shaffer v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, the UIM insureds was injured, settled with the other driver and made a UIM claim against its carrier. The insureds alleged they were cooperative, provided all pertinent medical information promptly, and submitted to an examination under...

Coverage for Qui Tam Action Denied under “Prior or Pending Litigation” Exclusion; Insured Need Not be Served with Complaint for Exclusion to Apply (Philadelphia Commerce Court)
, October 22, 2013
In AmerisourceBergen Corp. v. ACE Am. Ins. Comp., plaintiff brought suit against the insurer alleging the insurer denied plaintiff’s professional liability claim in bad faith. Plaintiff provides pharmaceutical manufacturers with drug distribution services, clinical education, marketing, and...

No Bad Faith in Requesting Medical Records Where Carrier was Reasonable in Making Sure Records were Current and Insureds Delayed in Responding to Requests (Middle District)
, October 22, 2013
In Schlegel v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., the insured made a UIM claim against her carrier, form an accident in which she was seriously injured, and for which she received $100,000 from the tortfeasor. She was required to provide the carrier with all the details about the injury,...

Even Though Court Dismissed Breach of Contract Action on Untimeliness Grounds, It Permitted Insureds to Proceed on Bad Faith Action (Middle District)
, October 18, 2013
In Condi v. State Farm Ins. Co., the insureds’ home suffered water damage. The insureds alleged that there was a storm, and a tree fell blocking a gutter which then acted to funnel water into the home cause damage. The insurer took the position that the water infiltration was caused by...

Bad Faith Claim Adequately Pleaded Where, Among Other Things, Insured Alleged That The Carrier Utilized An Improper Expert And Failed To Retain Legal Counsel To Evaluate The Claim, As Well As Delay In Settlement. Court Also Permitted Claim for Negligence in Undervaluing Necessary Policy Limits to Proceed (Western District)
, October 16, 2013
In Allied Dental Group v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Co., the plaintiff purchase a business insurance policy that provided coverage for business personal property and improvements and betterments, and coverage for the actual loss of business income sustained during a period of restoration. A...

Case Remanded Where Compensatory Damages Sought Were A Little Over $11,000 and All Arguments That Case Could Exceed $75,000 Were Found Speculative and Collecting Removal Cases (Philadelphia Federal)
, October 16, 2013
In Mazza v. Peerless Indemnity Insurance Company, plaintiff sought a little over $11,000 in damages in the Court of Common Pleas of Montgomery County. Plaintiff’s ad damnum clause stated that plaintiff was not seeking in excess of $50,000. The carrier removed the case to federal court on the...

Investigations by the Carrier That May Have Lead To Different Results Had Certain Events Occurred Which Did Not In Fact Occur Was Not the Basis for a Bad Faith UI, Claim (Western District)
, October 16, 2013
In Deibler v. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, the insured brought a statutory bad faith claim against his UIM insurer. The non-insured motorist had asserted the insured was at fault. The carrier investigated that claim by reviewing the police record and attempted to speak with the plaintiff,...

No Bad Faith Where Carrier Held Coverage Decision in Abeyance Pending Outcome of Criminal Proceedings; No Right to Attorney's Fees When Insured Proceeds Pro Se (Middle District)
, October 16, 2013
In Atwood v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Company, the plaintiff purchased a homeowner’s policy. The DEA had knocked down the door of plaintiff’s home, and left it unsecured. As the court described it, while plaintiff was “on the lam”, with the home still unsecured, the...

Rule 42 Motion To Sever and Stay Bad Faith Claim In UIM Case Denied By Federal District Court (Western District)
, October 16, 2013
In Cooper v. Metlife Auto & Home, the insured sought UIM coverage from his carrier, after the tortfeasor’s carrier paid its $50,000 limit. The UIM carrier refused to settle and the insured brought breach of contract and bad faith claims against the carrier in Mercer County, which was...

Where Dispute over Origin of Loss Was Not Unreasonable, Bad Faith Claim Dismissed On Summary Judgment (Philadelphia Federal)
, October 16, 2013
In Helm v. Allstate Property & Casualty Ins. Co., the case involved a claim against a homeowner’s policy for water loss. The insureds claim the loss arose from a single leak, originating above the kitchen. The carrier sent an investigator and also requested a sworn proof of loss be...

Insurer’s Motion to Dismiss on Choice-Of-Law Grounds Denied Where Delaware Had No Actual Interest in Application of Its Law, Which Lacked Statutory Bad Faith Claim Similar to Pennsylvania (Middle District)
, October 15, 2013
In Davis v. GEICO Gen. Ins. Co., plaintiff brought suit against the defendant-insurer alleging statutory bad faith for defendant-insurer’s handling of her UIM claim. Plaintiff was a citizen of Delaware at the time she purchased the policy and at the time of the underlying accident, and at all...

The Smart Act and Its Impact Upon Medicare Claims By Pro Se Claimants
Jay Barry Harris, October 07, 2013
The 2013 Smart Act was motivated by a mutual frustration of plaintiff attorneys, defense attorneys, and insurers in attempting to settle claims in which the claimant was a Medicare beneficiary. It was difficult to settle cases without knowing exactly how much Medicare was owed, the process of...

Court Grants Declaratory Judgment in Insurer’s Favor, Enforcing Claims Made Policy’s $100,000 Sublimit for Insured’s Illegal Actions (Philadelphia Federal)
, September 26, 2013
In Camico Mut. Ins. Co., v. Heffler, Radetich & Saitta, LLP, the insurer sought a declaratory judgment relieving it of its duty to provide a defense to the insured under a claims made policy, asserting that a $100,000 policy sublimit applied to the claims against the insured. The insured filed...

Insurer Correctly Denied Coverage Where Attorney Failed To Provide Timely Notice under Claims Made Malpractice Policy (Philadelphia Federal)
, September 11, 2013
In Pelagatti v. Minn Lawyers Mut. Ins. Co., an attorney-insured brought suit against his legal malpractice insurer alleging breach of contract and bad faith for denying coverage under his claims-made policy where the insurer alleged the attorney failed to provide timely notice of the claim. In...

Insurer Properly Denied Coverage for Property Damage Caused By Decomposing Body under Microorganism and Seepage Exclusions (Philadelphia Federal)
, September 11, 2013
In Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s London Subscribing to Policy No. SMP3791 v. Creagh, the court was asked to determine whether the defendants “all risk” insurance policy covered claims for property damage and remediation arising from fluids released by a decomposing human body....

Insurer’s Investigation of Lost Earnings and Loss of Earning Capacity Not Bad Faith (Philadelphia Federal)
, September 11, 2013
In Lublin v. Am. Fin. Group, Inc., plaintiff brought suit against his insurer for claims of bad faith in settling his underinsurd motorist claim. Plaintiff was driving in Philadelphia when he was forced to abruptly stop because another driver opened their door into the driving lane while parking...

Insurer Properly Denies Coverage Where Insured Did Not Have A Working Sprinkler System as Alleged In the Insurance Application and Required By the Policy (Philadelphia Commerce Court)
, September 10, 2013
In Yera, Inc. v. Travelers Cas. Ins. Co. of Am., the court granted the insurer’s Motion for Summary Judgment. Plaintiff brought suit alleging the insurer improperly denied coverage after an apartment building owned by plaintiff was destroyed by a fire and plaintiff provided proper and timely...

Complaint’s “And/Or” Language Creates Duty to Defend; Failure to Properly Interpret Complaint Not Bad Faith (Philadelphia Commerce Court)
, September 03, 2013
In CDL, Inc. v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s, plaintiff brought suit alleging breach of contract and bad faith for the insurer’s failure to provide plaintiff with a defense against a claim of negligence. Plaintiff’s business consisted of leasing commercial truck drivers to its...

Property Owner Cannot Recover under CGL Policy for Subcontractor’s Negligent Workmanship (Philadelphia Commerce Court)
, September 03, 2013
In 525 Lancaster Ave Apts., L.P. v. Pa. Nat’l Mut. Ins. Co., plaintiff brought suit against a subcontractor’s insurance company seeking coverage for damage caused by the subcontractor’s work on its apartment building. Plaintiff hired a general contractor to oversee the renovation...

No Coverage for Plaintiff-Additional Insured where Policy was Rescinded as to Named Insured, but Carrier did Owe Additional Insured a Defense (Philadelphia Federal)
, August 26, 2013
In Toll Bros., Inc. v. Century Sur. Co., plaintiff construction company brought suit against its surety company alleging, amongst other claims, breach of contract and breach of good faith and fair dealing. Plaintiff is a luxury homebuilder that builds communities throughout Pennsylvania. Local...

Court Finds Insured’s Delay In Production And Effect On Insurer’s Claim Processing Create Questions Of Fact For Jury; No Fiduciary Relationship Exists Between The Insurer And Insured In UIM Claims (Middle District)
, July 22, 2013
Plaintiff and his wife were injured in an automobile accident on July 11, 2006. Plaintiff made a claim against the other driver, and settled at the limits of the other driver’s policy, $95,000. Plaintiff subsequently made a claim with his carrier (“the carrier”) under his...

Superior Court Issues Opinion Creating New Standard for Reservation of Rights Letters (Superior Court)
, July 22, 2013
In Babcock & Wilcox Co. v. Am. Nuclear Insurers & Mut. Atomic Energy Liab. Underwriters, the Pennsylvania Superior Court created new law by holding an insured may decline an insurer’s defense tendered under a reservation of rights and later seek to be indemnified for any settlement...

Carrier’s Letter Indicating It Would Consider Amended Claims Did Not Require Carrier to Approve Claim; Following FEAS Evidence. (Philadelphia Federal)
, July 16, 2013
In Weinberg v. Nationwide Cas. & Ins. Co., plaintiffs brought suit claiming breach of contract and bad faith when the carrier denied coverage on an amended claim after providing plaintiffs with a payment and letter indicating future amendments to the claim would be considered.

Plaintiff’s Boilerplate Complaint Dismissed for Failure to State a Claim. (Middle District)
, July 16, 2013
In Yohn v. Nationwide Ins. Co., plaintiff brought suit against his insurance carrier alleging breach of an auto insurance contract and bad faith in connection with his claim for uninsured motorist coverage. Plaintiff was a passenger in a vehicle insured by the carrier that was involved in a...

Life Insurance Policy Properly Rescinded For Material Misrepresentation (Philadelphia Federal)
, July 09, 2013
In S.B. v. United of Omaha Life Ins. Co., two minor plaintiffs brought suit through their court appointed guardian following their father’s death seeking benefits under his life insurance policy. A claim review took place because the policy had been issued within two years of decedent’s...

Court Grants Motion in Limine Barring Expert Testimony Regarding Bad Faith Claim as to Both Parties; Rules on other Motions. (Western District)
, July 04, 2013
In Schifino v. Geico Gen. Ins. Co., both parties brought motions in limine before the court, seeking to have evidence excluded at the approaching trial.

Insurer’s Delay in Settling Third Party Claim Constitutes a Denial of Benefits and can Create a Cause of Action for Common Law and Statutory Bad Faith Despite Payment of Policy Limits and Lack of Excess Verdict (Middle District)
, July 04, 2013
In Bodnar v. Nationwide Mut. Ins. Co., plaintiff brought suit against his insurer (“the carrier”) claiming its failure to settle an underlying case against plaintiff in a more timely fashion constituted a bad faith under Pennsylvania’s bad faith statute. In the underlying case,...

Insurer’s Motion to Dismiss Bad Faith Claim Based on Failure to Issue Reservation of Rights Denied (Western District)
, July 04, 2013
In Greenwich Ins. Co. v. BBU Servs., the court denied plaintiff’s motion to dismiss defendants’ counter claim for bad faith. Plaintiff-insurer initially brought suit against its insured. Defendant-insureds then filed a counter-claim against their insurer, alleging bad faith for...

Large Arbitration Award in Excess of De Minimis Settlement Offer Does Not Establish Bad Faith Conduct by Carrier Where Offer Based on Reasonable Investigation (Philadelphia Federal)
, July 04, 2013
In Richardson v. United Fin. Cas. Co., plaintiff brought suit for bad faith following an arbitration award in extreme excess of the carrier’s settlement offers for plaintiff’s UIM claim. Plaintiff was in a low-impact crash on October of 2006. Following the crash, plaintiff required back...

Pennsylvania District Court Finds Surety Owes No Fiduciary Duty to Policyholder; Gist of the Action Doctrine Bars Bad Faith Claims (Western District)
, July 04, 2013
In Reginella Constr. Co., Ltd. v. Travelers Cas. and Sur. Co. of Am., the court was presented with a question of whether a surety is a fiduciary, as well as whether a breach of surety contract could result in a bad faith claim.

Plaintiff Fails to Meet 12(B)(6) Standards by Pleading Conclusory Statements (Middle District)
, July 04, 2013
In Calandrello v. Sentinel Ins. Co., plaintiffs’ home sustained damage in August of 2011 during Hurricane Irene. Plaintiffs’ homeowners’ insurance policy covered damage to plaintiffs’ dwelling, including structures attached to the dwelling. The policy included coverage for...

Declaratory Judgment Action Does Not Constitute Bad Faith Where Carrier Was Alleviated Of Any Duty; Lender Does Not Have Standing To Bring Bad Faith Claim Where Mortgage Service Company Submitted Initial Claim To Insurer (Philadelphia Federal)
, July 03, 2013
In U.S. Bank, N.A. v. First Am. Title Ins. Co., Allied Mortgage Group (“bank one”) provided a mortgage to a client for a real property purchase. The bank also purchased a title insurance policy from First American Title Insurance Company (“the carrier”) in connection with...

Court Dismisses Stand-Alone Common Law Bad Faith Claim (Philadelphia Federal)
, June 19, 2013
In Tubman v. USAA Cas. Ins. Co., the plaintiff suffered severe injuries after a car crash in which she was ejected from the vehicle. The opposing driver had a policy with a limit of $15,000, which were tendered to the plaintiff. Plaintiff’s insurer (the “carrier”) approved the...

Delayed Response and Lack of Communication in Addressing Claim Allows Plaintiff to Move past Summary Judgment Stage
, June 19, 2013
In Clark v. Allstate Ins. Co., the plaintiff suffered damage to her home on August 27, 2011 and provided notice to her insurance provider (the “carrier”) on August 31, 2011. On September 26, the carrier sent an adjuster to inspect the property and take pictures. During the inspection,...

Court Finds Carrier’s Failure to Follow-Up on Potential Causes of Damage Allows Claim to Advance beyond Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim (Western District)
, June 13, 2013
In Robinson Eye Ctr. v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co., the plaintiff limited liability company submitted a total of five claims for water damage caused by a leaky roof in the office the company leased. The first claim was for damage that occurred when soaked ceiling tiles fell onto...

Court Finds Bad Faith Statute Only Provides Remedy To Insureds, Not Agents Or Attorneys Of Insureds (Philadelphia Federal)
, June 06, 2013
In Feingold v. Liberty Mut. Group, a pro se plaintiff , who was a disbarred attorney, brought suit against an insurance carrier and affiliated companies (the “carrier”), and against the administratrix of the estate of his former client. Among other things, he claimed that the carrier...

Court Dismisses Class Action Complaint, Rules That Bad Faith Conduct Before the Formation of an Insurance Contract Is Not Actionable (Middle District)
, May 17, 2013
In Grudkowski v. Foremost Ins. Co., the court heard a carrier’s motion to dismiss an insured’s amended class action complaint, which alleged breach of contract, unfair trade practices, unjust enrichment, and bad faith claims. The claims arise from a classic car policy that the insured...

Court Largely Precludes Expert Testimony; Grants Summary Judgment to Carrier Because Delay in Payment was Not in Bad Faith and Carrier’s Initial Failure to Properly Issue Tax Remittance Check was Mere Negligence; Difference in Valuations and Terms for Determining Cost Not Bad Faith (Philadelphia Federal)
, May 17, 2013
In Mirarchi v. Seneca Specialty Ins. Co., the court heard cross motions for summary judgment from a carrier and its insured, stemming from the insured’s suit for breach of contract and bad faith. The insured alleged that the carrier unreasonably delayed the payment of insurance proceeds after...

Court Overturns Trial Court’s Grant of Summary Judgment Because Innocent Spouse Was Victim of Abuse, Remands for Determination of Bad Faith (Superior Court)
, May 17, 2013
In Lynn v. Nationwide Ins. Co., the court heard an insured’s appeal from the trial court’s summary judgment in favor of the carrier, ruling that the insured’s policy had been cancelled. The case arose after the insured’s estranged wife, a co-insured, attempted to cancel an...

Court Refuses to Hold that Carrier Acted under Color of State Law; Disagrees with Plaintiff that Carrier Acted in Bad Faith
, May 17, 2013
In Andrekovich v. PennPrime Liab. Trust, the plaintiff was a police officer whose employment was terminated after a prisoner in his custody died. The officer filed suit against the borough for which he worked, the borough’s liability insurance carrier and two attorneys appointed by the...

Court Rules that Carrier Has No Duty to Notify Insured of Provision in Policy for Reimbursement of Lost Wages and Travel Expenses (Superior Court)
, May 17, 2013
In Albert v. Erie Ins. Exch., an insured appealed a decision of the trial court that granted the carrier’s motion to dismiss the insured’s claims. Specifically, the insured claimed that the carrier’s failure to reimburse her for lost wages and travel expenses, which the insured...

Federal Flood Insurance Program Makes Several Changes to Flood Manual
Jay Barry Harris, May 15, 2013
As the result of recent congressional legislation, several changes to the National Flood Insurance Program Flood Insurance Manual became effective on January 1, 2013. The Flood Manual is used primarily by insurance carriers and agents that sell and service federal flood insurance. Several...

Governor Christie Calls Federal Flood Insurance Program a “Disgrace”
Jay Barry Harris, May 15, 2013
On February 5, 2013, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie addressed the media and complained that the Federal Flood Insurance Program has been extremely slow to address claims brought in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. According to Gov. Christie, 70% of cases remain unresolved, even three months after...