Washington Supreme Court Insulates Insurance Companies from IFCA Lawsuits Based on Regulatory Violations

The Washington Supreme Court issued a recent decision that significantly limits the scope of claims an insured can make against its insurer under the Washington Insurance Fair Conduct Act (IFCA).  In Perez-Crisantos v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Co., No. 92267-5, WL 448991 (February 2, 2017), the Court insulated insurers that violate insurance regulations by ruling that the insured could … Continue reading »

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Insurer Can’t Unilaterally Limit Rates Payable to Defense Counsel

The Western District of Washington recently ruled that, absent a contrary term in the insurance policy, an insurer does not have the sole power to set the rates it will pay for defending its insured in a lawsuit.  The case, National Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh, PA v. Coinstar, Inc., et al., arose after the insured, Redbox, was named as … Continue reading »

Insurer May Not Sue the Insured’s Attorney for Malpractice

A common issue in insurance coverage matters is the nature of the relationship between the attorney hired to represent the insured and the insurer who pays for the attorneys’ services.  A recent case decided by the Supreme Court of Washington held that an insurer who hires an attorney for their insured cannot later sue that attorney for malpractice. In Stewart … Continue reading »

Insurance Coverage: Stigma Damages vs. Diminished Value Damages

A recent Washington appellate case clarified the distinction between “stigma damages” and “diminished value damages” to a vehicle involved in a collision and addressed whether their recovery may be excluded from an automobile insurance policy.  In Ibrahim v. AIU Ins. Co., 177 Wn.App. 504, 312 P.3d 998 (2013), an insured’s vehicle was damaged by an at-fault driver, and the insured … Continue reading »

Washington Supreme Court Expands Definition of Bad Faith in Context of Insurer's Breach of Duty to Defend

The Washington Supreme Court in a March 18, 2010 decision (5-4, majority opinion authored by Justice Tom Chambers) ruled that commercial liability carrier Alea London Ltd, in refusing to defend its insured American Best Foods, Inc. dba Café Arizona (“Insured”) based upon an assault exclusion, even in the face of allegations of post assault negligence which caused or exacerbated injuries, … Continue reading »