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Category Archives: Auto Insurance

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Medpay and Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Class Action: Eighth Circuit Reverses Class Certification, Stressing That All Class Members Must Have Standing

Posted in Auto Insurance

The Eighth Circuit recently addressed class certification in an insurance class action involving medpay and personal injury protection (PIP) coverage.  The case involved the use of third-party bill reviewers and the application of a guideline comparing charges for medical services to the 80th percentile of such charges in the geographic area.  The court applied the… Continue Reading

Class Action on Reimbursement of Litigation Expenses: Pennsylvania Superior Court Concludes That Insured Must Request Reimbursement

Posted in Auto Insurance

Auto insurance policies typically provide for insureds to be reimbursed for expenses they incur in assisting in the defense of a lawsuit against the insured that is being defended by the insurer.  Some putative class actions have been brought on the theory that insurers fail to proactively determine whether these expenses are incurred and pay… Continue Reading

Subrogation “Made Whole” Doctrine Class Action: Florida Federal Court Strikes Class Allegations

Posted in Auto Insurance

Last week, in my August 7, 2012 post, I reported on a new class action filed against AIG/Chartis involving the subrogation “made whole” doctrine.  A recent Florida federal district court decision in a putative class action on this issue is significant because it struck the class allegations on the pleadings. In Vandenbrink v. State Farm… Continue Reading

Auto Insurance: Potential for Class Action Filings Regarding Collision Coverage Premiums

Posted in Auto Insurance

A recent article by Eric Lee on InsuranceNewsNet describes potential class action filings against auto insurers regarding premiums for collision coverage on the grounds that the premium for this coverage allegedly was not reduced as the vehicle depreciated.  The article describes the founder of Auto Insurance Relief, which is apparently a California-based company, as having… Continue Reading

Consumer Federation of America Report Regarding Use of Software in Adjusting Bodily Injury Claims

Posted in Auto Insurance

Last week there was significant media attention given to a report issued by the Consumer Federation of America regarding the use of software by insurers to adjust bodily injury claims, such as “Colossus,” typically under auto insurance policies.  The report explains: Over the past ten to fifteen years, the payment of bodily injury claims covered… Continue Reading

Auto Class Action on Preferred Repair Facilities and Non-OEM Parts: California Court of Appeal Upholds Insurer’s Application Form and Affirms Order Striking Class Allegations

Posted in Auto Insurance

Insurers writing auto policies in California seeking to keep repair costs down by encouraging their insureds to use preferred repair facilities, and encouraging the use of non-original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts, now have a potential roadmap to follow from the California Court of Appeal. In Ortega v. Topa Insurance Company, No. B228889, 2012 Cal. App…. Continue Reading

New Auto Insurance Class Actions Against GEICO and Progressive Focus on State Law Compliance Issues

Posted in Auto Insurance

After Wal-Mart v. Dukes, plaintiffs’ lawyers tend to file more narrowly-tailored, single state class actions, often focusing on insurers’ compliance with state statutes or regulations.  Recent filings against GEICO and Progressive, two of the country’s largest auto insurers, are good examples of this trend:  Davis v GEICO Casualty Company.pdf, Case No. 2012CA005024 (Florida Circuit Court,… Continue Reading

Recent Property & Casualty Class Action Decisions – Part Two

Posted in Auto Insurance, Discovery

Here is the second installment of my summaries of significant recent P&C class action decisions:  Seabron v. American Family Mutual Insurance Company, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 41451 (D. Colo. Mar. 27, 2012):  This is a relatively rare written opinion on several discovery issues that often arise in insurance class actions. The court resolves a dispute… Continue Reading

Antitheft Device Discounts on Auto Policies: Pennsylvania Federal District Court Grants Summary Judgment in favor of Insureds in Putative Class Action

Posted in Auto Insurance

Last week a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled that auto insurers must make determinations about which vehicles have passive antitheft devices qualifying for a premium discount under Pennsylvania law, and give discounts for such devices automatically if the vehicle has such a device, regardless of whether the insured asks for a discount.  All insurers writing auto… Continue Reading

Class Action Involving Underinsured Motorist (UIM) Coverage: Illinois Federal Court Denies Motion to Dismiss In Case Alleging Illusory Coverage

Posted in Auto Insurance, Defense Strategy

Do insurance companies charge premiums for coverage that can never be triggered?  That is the essential allegation in Keeling v. Esurance Ins. Co., 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26998 (S.D. Ill. Mar. 1, 2012).  In my October 4, 2011 blog post, I wrote about a Seventh Circuit decision finding federal jurisdiction in this case, based on… Continue Reading

New Auto Insurance Class Actions Filed In West Virginia and Oklahoma

Posted in Auto Insurance

I recently came across two new auto insurance class actions filed in West Virginia and Oklahoma, which I thought would be of interest to readers of my blog: Smith v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, Civil Action No. 12-C-38 (Circuit Court of Ohio County, West Virginia), removed to federal court, Case No. 5:12-cv-0023-FPS (Northern… Continue Reading

Class Action on Diminished Value: Washington Supreme Court Finds Coverage and Upholds Certification of Class

Posted in Auto Insurance

Numerous class actions have been brought against auto insurers on the theory that they should be required to pay under collision coverage not only for the cost of repairing damage to a vehicle but also for the diminished value that a vehicle might sustain because it was in an accident.  This claim for diminished value… Continue Reading

Auto Subrogation Class Action Involving “Made Whole” Doctrine: Pennsylvania Supreme Court Upholds Dismissal

Posted in Auto Insurance

Insurance companies’ subrogation departments are rarely faced with class action lawsuits regarding their practices, but such cases occasionally arise.  The Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently upheld the dismissal of a class action focusing on whether an insurer was entitled to reimburse only 90% of the insured’s deductible where the insurer had recovered 90% of its loss… Continue Reading

Recent New Insurance Class Actions Involving Use of Staff Counsel, Wildfire Claims, and Depreciation on Auto Claims

Posted in Arbitration/Appraisal, Auto Insurance, Property Insurance

Several notable recent class action filings against insurers have come across my desk (or computer screen) and seem worthy of interest to readers of this blog.  I will summarize and comment briefly on them.  If you’d like a copy of any of the complaints, just e-mail me. Use of Staff Counsel:  In Golden v. State… Continue Reading

Class Action on Insurance Company’s Use of a Database To Evaluate Medical Bills: Colorado Supreme Court Says Denial of Class Certification Was Proper

Posted in Auto Insurance, Class Certification Standards

The Colorado Supreme Court recently issued several new decisions on class certification, one of which was in an insurance class action – State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company v. Reyher, Case No. 10SC77, 2011 Colo. LEXIS 844 (Colo. Oct. 31, 2011).  This was one of many putative class actions that have been filed involving the… Continue Reading

Class Action on Diminution in Value Auto Claims: Recent Denial of Certification Illustrates Application of Wal-Mart v. Dukes to Insurance Class Actions

Posted in Auto Insurance, Class Certification Standards

The recent denial of class certification in Fosmire v. Progressive Max Ins. Co., 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 117366 (W.D. Wash. Oct. 11, 2011) is the second opinion I’ve seen post-Wal-Mart that applies the new standards in detail in an insurance class action.  This putative nationwide class action alleged that Progressive improperly failed to pay for… Continue Reading

More On Class Actions Alleging Failure to Pay Expense Reimbursement Coverage Under Auto Policies

Posted in Auto Insurance

I recently wrote a post regarding a new class action in Pennsylvania against Erie Insurance Exchange.  The suit alleges failure to pay expense reimbursement coverage under auto policies, which provides for reimbursement for expenses and/or lost wages incurred by the insured in assisting with defending a lawsuit.  One of my readers helpfully pointed out that… Continue Reading

Class Action on Labor Rates for Auto Repairs: California Court of Appeal Upholds Denial of Certification

Posted in Auto Insurance

In recent years there has been a significant amount of class action litigation in various jurisdictions regarding labor rates for repairs on auto claims.  The California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, recently affirmed a denial of class certification in one of these cases, focusing on the fact that the insurer handled each claim in… Continue Reading

Class Action Against State Farm In New York On PIP Coverage: Motion to Dismiss Is Denied

Posted in Auto Insurance

Insurance companies writing Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage in New York with optional extended benefits should pay careful attention to a class action recently brought against State Farm.  Judge Block of the Eastern District of New York recently denied a motion to dismiss in this case.  This may result in additional filings against other insurers…. Continue Reading