Insurance Claim Adjuster Liability for Bad Faith After Denying or Delaying Payments

Recording of a 90-minute CLE video webinar with Q&A

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Conducted on Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Recorded event now available

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This CLE course will discuss the growing trend of policyholder counsel to hold claims agents liable for bad faith when they delay or deny payment other than as required under prompt pay and other statutes as well as under common law theories of bad faith. This trend will substantially influence who is sued in statutory bad faith cases, the venues where such litigation is brought and decided, and various legal questions governing insurers and their employees. The program will explore arguments for and against allowing suits to be brought, for extending liability, and the role of statutory language in the analysis, claims, and defense strategies.

Description

Under many state statutes, a claimant who shows that benefits were unreasonably delayed or denied can recover his attorney's fees and up to two times the benefits owed. No question exists that the claims may be brought against the insurance company. But now some attorneys are also naming the claims adjuster as an additional defendant.

Proponents of allowing policyholders to sue claims adjusters for delayed and denied payments argue that doing so is no different than suing commercial truck drivers for injuries they cause in addition to suing the trucking company and that holding an employee liable for harms they cause while working is not a novel concept.

The insurance industry strongly disputes this analogy. They rely on the statutory language and argue that legislatures intended to limit claimants' remedies only against the insurance companies. They contend that lawmakers never intended to make insurance adjusters defendants in civil lawsuits, pointing to a chilling effect on who would want to be a claims adjuster as well as predicting a dramatic increase in the cost of insurance products.

Listen as this experienced panel of insurance litigators explores the rationale and arguments for and against bringing adjusters into the lawsuits.

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Outline

  1. Statutory bad faith
  2. Common law bad faith
  3. Defense strategies
  4. Current decisions

Benefits

The panel will review these and other issues:

  • What is the rationale for holding adjusters liable for bad faith?
  • What triggers bad faith claims against adjusters?
  • How is suing adjusters any different than suing the employee tortfeasor in other contexts?

The views presented by Professor Chad Marzen are his alone and are not to be associated, in any capacity, with Florida State University.

Faculty

Marzen, Chad
Professor Chad Marzen

American General Insurance Associate Professor of Insurance Law
Florida State University

Mr.  Marzen has taught courses such as The Legal and Ethical Environment of Business, UCC and Law for Accountancy,...  |  Read More

Ridley, Terence
Terence M. Ridley

Partner
Spencer Fane

Mr. Ridley focuses his practice on assisting clients in civil litigation related to a variety of insurance matters,...  |  Read More

Waneka, Nelson
Nelson A. Waneka

Shareholder
LLevin | Sitcoff | Waneka

Mr. Waneka specializes in insurance recovery. He has extensive experience litigating delayed and denied insurance...  |  Read More

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