Monday, November 27, 2017

Defense Verdict Entered in Philadelphia County UIM Bad Faith Claim (Bench Trial)

In the UIM bad faith Camiolo v. Erie Ins. Exchange, July Term No. 1750 (C.P. Phila. Oct. 2017 Colins, J.), the court entered a verdict in favor of the carrier on the statutory bad faith claim after a bench trial.

In the Opinion, the court provides a nice recitation of the current status of bad faith law in Pennsylvania, including the recent Supreme Court decision in Rancosky.  The decision notes the following points of  bad faith law pertinent to the handling of UIM claims as well as with respect to settlement negotiations in such matters.

-UIM carriers are bound by a duty to afford good faith and fair dealing when handling the claims of its insureds

-Where a claim's value is uncertain, the carrier cannot be faulted for undertaking a thorough investigation

-Delay in processing a claim, standing alone, does not establish bad faith

-Low but reasonable valuations do not amount to bad faith particularly where reasonable minds may differ on a fair evaluation of the claims presented

-In managing a UIM claim, it is reasonable for the carrier to negotiate the same way as if it were handling an adversarial third party claim.

Anyone wishing to review this decision, may click this LINK.

I send thanks to Attorney Brooks Foland of the Camp Hill, PA office of Marshall, Dennehey, Warner, Coleman & Goggin for bringing this case to my attention.

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