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Tag Archives: Breach of Contract

Agents, Brokers and Rescission of Insurance Policies

Posted in: Accidental Death or Dismemberment, Agent/Broker, Disability Insurance News, Insurance Bad Faith, Insurance Litigation Blog, Life Insurance, Long Term Care Insurance April 09, 2018

Generally, an insurer need not investigate statements made in an application for insurance, subject to certain exceptions. Instead, the potential policyholder or applicant must fully disclose all known material information. If a potential insured does not correctly disclose information on an application (even innocently), the insurer may later try to rescind the insurance policy. When an insurer “rescinds” a policy, it renders the contract as if it never existed and frees both parties from their obligations under the contract. Practically, this means that the insurance company is no longer obligated to pay the claims for life insurance, accident insurance, health insurance, long-term care insurance or long-term disability insurance benefits and the policyholder no longer has to pay the policy’s premiums. …

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Court Rejects Third Party Administrator's Demurrer to Insurance Bad Faith Claim Based on Plaintiffs' Theory of Joint Venture Liability

Posted in: Bad Faith, Breach of Contract, Case Updates, Disability Insurance, Disability Insurance News, Insurance Bad Faith, Insurance Litigation Blog, Non-ERISA January 24, 2018

Implied in every insurance contract is a promise of “good faith and fair dealing,” which means that the insurer must not take unreasonable steps to prevent an insured’s right to receive benefits under the policy. To comply with its promise to act in good faith, the insurer must adhere to certain duties, such as the duty to adequately investigate a claim made by an insured. An insurer acts in bad faith when it fails to meet those duties unreasonably and without proper cause. Determining whether there has been bad faith conduct is important, in part, because it directly affects the insured’s potential recovery. If the insurer is found to have acted in bad faith, the insured may have access to …

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Top 8 Tips for When You Take Your Insurer to Court

Posted in: Accidental Death or Dismemberment, Breach of Contract, Insurance Bad Faith, Life Insurance, Non-ERISA November 29, 2017

If you have a claim that has been wrongfully denied or are currently in the claims handling process, it is important to always keep in mind the potential impact of your conduct on future litigation. When dealing with a sophisticated insurance company, you want to put your best claim forward and be prepared for the potential need to file a lawsuit. In this article, we discuss our top eight tips for when you take your insurer to court, from the importance of hiring an attorney with relevant experience to preparing for the long haul that is litigation against an insurance company.

1. Hire an attorney with experience in insurance litigation who actually goes to trial.
This may seem like a …

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California Court Affirms Decision Finding Bad Faith Where Insurer Interprets Policy Against Insured's Interests

Posted in: Attorneys Fees, Attorneys' Fees, Bad Faith, Commercial General Liability Insurance, Duty to Defend, Insurance Bad Faith, Insurance Litigation Blog, Life Insurance, Punitive Damages October 11, 2017

On August 31, 2017, the California Court of Appeal discussed a variety of topics touching upon important matters in insurance “bad faith” litigation in Pulte Home Corp. v. Am. Safety Indemnity Co., 14 Cal.App.5th 1086 (Aug. 31, 2017). In this blog, we discuss the case in detail as well as the potential benefits the opinion provides to insureds’ future claims for bad faith. Before we discuss the details of the case, we first address the basics of insurance bad faith. Next, we detail the issues addressed in the case, the facts of the case, the court’s reasoning and ultimate rationale. Finally, we address the Pulte’s broader impact, solidifying the insurer’s good faith duty to interpret ambiguous policy provisions in …

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Does an Insurance Company Need to Deny a Claim to be Liable for Bad Faith Damages? You May Be Surprised to Learn the Answer is "No."

Posted in: Bad Faith, Disability Insurance News, Insurance Bad Faith, Insurance Litigation Blog, Life Insurance, Premiums, Transamerica, Universal Life Insurance August 09, 2017

Every insurance contract is accompanied by an implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, meaning that the insurer cannot “unfairly frustrate” or unreasonably “deprive” the insured of the benefits of the insurance contract. This implied covenant applies to all types of insurance policies, including disability insurance, life insurance, health/medical insurance, long-term care insurance, accidental death and dismemberment insurance, and homeowners insurance. If the insurer unreasonably or without proper cause refuses to pay a benefit due under in insurance policy, the insurer may have acted in “bad faith.” This may allow an insured to collect extra-contractual damages, such as emotional distress damages, attorney’s fees and punitive damages. Typically, bad faith allegations follow a decision by the insurance company to deny …

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Robert McKennon Quoted in Los Angeles Daily Journal Article on Important Insurance Coverage Issue

Posted in: Accidental Death or Dismemberment, Bad Faith, Benefits, Insurance Bad Faith, Insurance Litigation Blog, Life Insurance, News, News Blog July 25, 2017

On July 20, 2017, the Los Angeles Daily Journal quoted Robert McKennon of McKennon Law Group PC in an article entitled “Insurance Claim Denial Because Airbnb Rental May Have Wider Implications,” by Andy Serbe.  The article discusses a recently filed complaint, and its broader applications regarding insurance coverage exclusions involving rentals and the impact on the potential for insureds to lose important coverage rights when they engage in once only or sporadic rentals of all or parts of their home.  In the article, Mr. McKennon explains that the insurer failed to define the terms in the exclusion, specifically the phrase “other structures reserved for rental.”  Accordingly, those terms were ambiguous as applied to the facts of the case (the complaint …

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Zubillaga v. Allstate Indemnity Co. California Court Rules in Favor of Insured

Posted in: Accidental Death or Dismemberment, Bad Faith, Benefits, Insurance Bad Faith, Insurance Litigation Blog, Life Insurance July 07, 2017

Underlying every insurance contract in California is an implied promise of “good faith and fair dealing,” which requires that the insurer act in good faith when handling the insured’s claim.  If the insurer has a “genuine dispute” as to coverage, then the insurer will typically be found not to have acted in bad faith.  In a recent opinion, the California State Court of Appeal reversed a lower court ruling granting summary judgment in favor of the insurer on the genuine dispute doctrine.  Ultimately, the Court found that the insured raised an issue of material fact regarding whether the insurer reasonably relied on an expert opinion to repeatedly undervalue her claim.  In this article, we cover some of the basics of …

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Top 5 Ways Insurers Commit Insurance Bad Faith in Denying Accidental Death or Dismemberment Claims

Posted in: Accidental Death or Dismemberment, Bad Faith, Benefits, Insurance Litigation Blog, Life Insurance June 28, 2017

The McKennon Law Group PC periodically publishes articles on its Insurance Litigation and Disability Insurance News blogs that deal with frequently asked questions in insurance bad faith, life insurance, long-term disability insurance, annuities, accidental death insurance, ERISA and other areas of law.  To speak with a highly skilled Los Angeles long-term disability insurance lawyer at the McKennon Law Group PC, call (949)387-9595 for a free consultation or go to our website at www.mckennonlawgroup.com and complete our free consultation form today.

If you have an individually purchased insurance policy that provides coverage for accidental death or dismemberment, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”) does not govern your claim.  Instead, state law applies to your dispute, including a body of law …

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Top 5 Ways Insurers Commit Insurance Bad Faith in Denying Life Insurance Claims

Posted in: Bad Faith, Benefits, Disability Insurance News, Insurance Bad Faith, Insurance Litigation Blog, Life Insurance June 20, 2017

The McKennon Law Group PC periodically publishes articles on its Insurance Litigation and Disability Insurance News blogs that deal with frequently asked questions in insurance bad faith, life insurance, long-term disability insurance, annuities, accidental death insurance, ERISA and other areas of law.  To speak with a highly skilled Los Angeles long-term disability insurance lawyer at the McKennon Law Group PC, call (949)387-9595 for a free consultation or go to our website at www.mckennonlawgroup.com and complete our free consultation form today.

If you purchased an individual life insurance policy, as opposed to an employer-sponsored policy, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”) will not apply to your claim.  Instead, separate principles of contract law govern your claim, including “insurance bad faith.”  …

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U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Church Plan ERISA Exemption

Posted in: Bad Faith, Benefits, Breach of Contract, Church Plans, Disability Insurance, ERISA, Government Plans, Insurance Litigation Blog, Insurance Questions and Concepts June 09, 2017

The Employment Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, otherwise known as ERISA, protects employees from unanticipated losses in retirement or pension plans.  As we have discussed in several articles on the topic, ERISA safeguards such plans by establishing strict protections and requirements on the administration of most employer-sponsored health, disability, life, retirement and other employee benefits plans.  However, ERISA does not govern all employer-sponsored benefit plans.  In general, ERISA carves out exemptions for those plans established or maintained by a government or church entity.

Just a few days ago, in Advocate Health Care Network v. Stapleton, the United States Supreme Court determined a significant question affecting pension plans run by church-affiliated hospitals.  As we predicted months ago, the …

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