Auto Accidents Newsletters
Among its other duties, an automobile insurance company is required to act in good faith when dealing with an insurance claim. This duty to exercise good faith continues throughout the entire claim process. There is an implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing in every insurance contract.
If an insured acquires a new policy covering an already insured vehicle, the original insurer will have an incentive to cancel its own policy to limit its exposure and avoid having to pay a “windfall” recovery in the event that an occurrence calling for payment under the policy should take place.
Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution that can be used by an insurance company and an insured to settle a dispute between themselves regarding uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage as well as other disputes. The alternative to mediation would be a lawsuit. In mediation, a third person, who has experience with insurance disputes, meets with the insurance company and the insured to try to work out a solution on which both parties can agree.
The obligations of insurers to make payments under policies of motor vehicle insurance are based on the sometimes uncertain answers to questions about the extent of coverage and the liability of an insured to a party making a claim under the policy. An insurer may therefore face a difficult decision as to whether to make a payment in response to a third party’s demand for such payment under a policy, risking the possibility that the payment is uncalled for in light of some limitation in the coverage, or to deny such a request and risk a claim that the insurer’s failure to make the requested payment has made it liable to an insured for additional damages, such as the amount of a judgment in excess of the policy limits.
Underinsured motorist coverage, sometimes abbreviated UIM, and uninsured motorist coverage, sometimes abbreviated UM, are included in motor vehicle insurance policies as a consequence of the fact that many owners and operators of cars and trucks either do not maintain adequate insurance coverage on their vehicles or operate those vehicles without any insurance coverage at all.