August 20, 2017

Colorado Supreme Court: Agent May Exercise Apparent or Implied Authority to Reject UM/UIM Insurance Coverage

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in State Farm Mutual Automobile Ins. Co. v. Johnson on Monday, June 5, 2017.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Insurance—Agency—Implied Authority.

This case presented two questions for the supreme court’s consideration. First, does the uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) statute, C.R.S. § 10-4-609, require each named insured to reject UM/UIM coverage, or is one named insured’s rejection binding on all? And second, did the legislature, by enacting C.R.S. § 10-4-609, abrogate the common law agency principles of implied authority and apparent authority? The court started with the second question and concluded that nothing in the language of C.R.S. § 10-4-609 precludes an agent from exercising either apparent or implied authority to reject UM/UIM coverage on behalf of a principal. Turning to the facts of this case, the court concluded that the evidence presented at trial established that respondent Johnson delegated to his friend the task of purchasing insurance for their jointly owned car and that, in undertaking this task, the friend had implied authority to reject, and did in fact reject, UM/UIM coverage on Johnson’s behalf. Based on this conclusion, the court found it unnecessary to address the first question presented. The court thus reversed the court of appeals’ judgment and remanded the case for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

Summary provided courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Colorado Court of Appeals: District Court Erred in Concluding Injured Worker Not Entitled to UIM Benefits from Personal Insurer

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in American Family Mutual Insurance Co. v. Ashour on Thursday, May 18, 2017.

Personal InjuriesWorkers Compensation ActPersonal Automobile Insurance PolicyUninsured Motorist Benefits—Underinsured Motorist Benefits.

Ashour was an employee and co-owner of Nubilt Restoration & Construction (Nubilt). While employed with Nubilt, Ashour was severely injured when he was pinned by a 30-foot truck to a nearby tractor-trailer. The accident was caused by the negligence of his co-employee Peake, who failed to set the airbrake on the truck that rolled backward and pinned Ashour to the other vehicle. After the accident, Ashour submitted a claim to Nubilt’s workers’ compensation carrier and subsequently received benefits. He also submitted a claim to Nubilt’s corporate liability insurance provider and received a settlement for that claim based on a policy rider that allowed for coverage of workplace injuries. Ashour then made a claim under his personal automobile insurance policy with American Family Mutual Insurance Company (AFI) for underinsured (UIM) benefits to recover the remainder of his alleged damages. AFI then filed an action for declaratory relief as to whether Ashour was owed UIM coverage when the policy limited UIM benefits to situations where the insured was “legally entitled to recover” from the owner or operator of an uninsured or underinsured motor vehicle. The district court denied Ashour’s motion for summary judgment and granted AFI’s motion for summary judgment.

On appeal, Ashour contended that the district court erred by ruling, as a matter of law, that his claim for UIM coverage under his automobile insurance policy with AFI was precluded because he was not legally entitled to sue his employer or co-employee in tort for his injuries based on their immunity under the Workers’ Compensation Act of Colorado (the Act). Nubilt and its workers’ compensation insurance carrier are immune from suit by Ashour for his injuries sustained in the course and scope of his employment. By extension, co-employees are also immune from suit for injuries to a fellow employee arising out of the scope of employment. However, this exclusive remedy is limited to suits by an injured employee against his employer or co-employee; an injured employee may receive workers’ compensation benefits and bring suit against a third-party tortfeasor. Here, AFI’s uninsured motorist/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) policy provides coverage where the tortfeasor is underinsured. Underinsured tortfeasors are those who are covered by insurance at the time of the accident. Thus, Nubilt and Peake are effectively underinsured in that Ashour received benefits up to Nubilt’s workers’ compensation insurance limits but still has additional damages from his workplace injury. It is the exhaustion of Nubilt’s and Peake’s limits of liability coverage (i.e., workers’ compensation insurance) that triggers AFI’s obligation to pay UM/UIM benefits. Therefore, Ashour’s claim for UIM benefits under his policy with AFI is not barred by the exclusivity provisions of the Act or by the “legally entitled to recover” language of the policy.

The judgment was reversed and the case was remanded with directions to enter summary judgment in favor of Ashour, declaring, as a matter of law, that AFI must provide coverage of UM/UIM benefits to Ashour upon his proof that Peake was at fault for causing his injuries and of the extent of his damages in excess of the coverage offered him under the Act.

Summary provided courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Tractor is Motor Vehicle for Underinsured Motorist Coverage Purposes

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Smith v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. on Thursday, January 12, 2017.

Insurance—Covered Motor Vehicle—Underinsured Motorist Provision—Farm Tractor.

Bunker was driving a farm tractor when he collided with Smith’s truck. The hay spears attached to the tractor pierced the truck and impaled Smith, leaving him severely injured. Bunker pleaded guilty to careless driving, and Smith settled his claim against Bunker for Bunker’s liability policy limits. Because this settlement did not fully compensate Smith for his injuries, he filed a claim for underinsured motorist benefits (UIM) with State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. (State Farm). State Farm denied coverage on the basis that a farm tractor is not a motor vehicle. Smith sued and the district court dismissed the complaint, finding that the tractor was not a covered motor vehicle for purposes of the UIM coverage policy.

On appeal, Smith contended that his policy’s property damage coverage section definition of “uninsured motor vehicle” is included in the UIM coverage provision. The Colorado Court of Appeals declined to extend the “uninsured motor vehicle” definition found only in the property damage coverage provision beyond that provision.

Smith next contended that the plain and ordinary meaning of “motor vehicle” includes the tractor. The court determined that the plain and ordinary meaning is an automotive vehicle not operated on rails and one with rubber tires for use on highways. Applying this definition, the court found that the tractor had wheels and its own motor, was not operated on rails, and was designed for use on streets and highways. Therefore, it was a covered motor vehicle under Smith’s UIM coverage provision.

The judgment was reversed and the case was remanded.

Summary provided courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Terms of Settlement Offer were Valid and Enforceable When Accepted

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Kovac v. Farmers Insurance Exchange on Thursday, January 12, 2017.

Personal Injury—Underinsured Motorist—Statute of Limitations—Summary Judgment.

Kovac was seriously injured in a car accident with Filipelli. It was undisputed that Filipelli was at fault. Kovac’s medical expenses exceeded $1.4 million. Filipelli was covered by Shelter Insurance Company (Shelter) with a liability limit of $100,000. Kovac was insured under two different automobile policies with Farmers Insurance Exchange (Farmers).

Kovac settled with Shelter for its policy limits. Later, Farmers offered to settle Kovac’s remaining claims for $80,000, but the parties could not reach a settlement. Kovac sued Farmers on April 3, 2015 for recovery of UIM benefits, tortious bad faith breach of contract, and unreasonable delay and denial of insurance benefits. Farmers moved for summary judgment on the grounds that the Shelter settlement check was tendered to Kovac’s attorney on April 2, 2013 and the statute of limitations therefore ran on April 2, 2015. The district court agreed and dismissed the suit.

On appeal, Kovac argued that although her attorney received the check and settlement offer on April 2, it was not accepted until April 5 when the release was signed and the check endorsed. Therefore, the statute of limitations ran on April 5, 2015 and her complaint was timely filed on April 3, 2015. C.R.S. § 13-80-107.5(b) provides that the statute of limitations runs two years from the date when the insured “received payment of the settlement” on the underlying bodily injury claim. The court of appeals determined that Kovac released her claims against Filipelli on April 5, 2013.  Therefore the statute of limitations had not run when she filed her complaint against Farmers.

The summary judgment was reversed and the case was remanded.

Summary provided courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Tenth Circuit: Delay in Tendering Insurance Benefits Found Unreasonable

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Peden v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. on Tuesday, November 15, 2016.

Wendy Peden was among a group of friends drinking and celebrating the birthday of Terrell Graf’s fiancee. Mr. Graf gathered the friends into the van he had purchased for his fiancee, drove away, and crashed. Ms. Peden suffered serious injuries. She obtained $240,000 in insurance benefits, but claimed more in underinsured motorist benefits. State Farm initially denied the claim, but ultimately paid her $350,000, the maximum amount available. Ms. Peden sued State Farm for bad faith under Colorado common law and statutory law.

Ms. Peden argued in her claim for uninsured/underinsured motorist benefits that she had seven forms of injury totaling from $647,484.76 to $1,115,504.76. Ms. Peden sought benefits from a State Farm policy carried by Mr. Graf’s fiancee and also from her own State Farm policy. State Farm denied the claim, stating that the $240,000 she had received had fairly compensated her. When Ms. Peden brought suit against State Farm, it investigated further and ultimately paid her the maximum amount allowable under the policies. Ms. Peden continued to claim that State Farm had unreasonably delayed payment of benefits. State Farm moved for summary judgment, arguing that the handling of the claim was reasonable as a matter of law. Ms. Peden moved for partial summary judgment on her statutory bad faith claim. The district court granted State Farm’s motion, and Ms. Peden appealed.

The Tenth Circuit found that under Colorado law, all insurance contracts contain an implied duty of good faith and fair dealing, and that there is both a common law and statutory duty to handle claims in good faith. For an uninsured motorist claim involving a breach of the common law duty, the insured must prove that the insurer acted unreasonably under the circumstances and knowingly or recklessly disregarded the validity of the insured’s claim. A statutory claim includes a requirement that the insurer cannot “unreasonably delay or deny payment of a claim.” The Tenth Circuit examined industry standards and determined that State Farm had a duty to investigate the claim as diligently to prove its merit as it would to deny benefits, and had a duty to find all facts to try to understand the claimant’s medical condition. The Tenth Circuit found that in this case, State Farm had discredited Ms. Peden’s claim because she went for a ride with a drunk driver. Ms. Peden argued that she did not know Mr. Graf was drunk and she did not think he was going to drive the vehicle—she believed they were only getting in the van to take a group picture. State Farm did not interview Ms. Peden or otherwise investigate her story. The Tenth Circuit found that by failing to interview Ms. Peden, State Farm breached its duty.

The Tenth Circuit also found that State Farm unreasonably failed to investigate the total amount of damages before denying Ms. Peden’s claim. State Farm did not include any payment for future noneconomic damages, prejudgment interest, or wage loss in its initial valuation of the claim, and its tender of damages was between 24 and 42 percent of the amounts claimed by Ms. Peden. The Tenth Circuit found that a reasonable fact-finder could infer that State Farm failed to adequately investigate the damages that would have been available to Ms. Peden if she had sued Mr. Graf. The Tenth Circuit noted that State Farm could have consulted with a physician, asked Ms. Peden to submit to a physical examination, or interviewed her, and it did none of these things. The Tenth Circuit held that a fact-finder could question the reasonableness of this investigation.

The Tenth Circuit reversed the district court’s grant of summary judgment to State Farm. The Tenth Circuit vacated the district court’s denial of Ms. Peden’s partial summary judgment motion as moot, since it was no longer moot. The Tenth Circuit remanded to the district court for further findings.

Colorado Supreme Court: Plain Language of Statute Prohibits Offsets for Medical Payment Benefits

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Calderon v. American Family Mutual Insurance Co. on Monday, November 7, 2016.

Statutory Construction—Automobile Insurance Coverage—Automobile Insurance Setoffs— Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Policy Coverage.

Calderon sustained injuries caused by an uninsured driver. Calderon was insured under policies issued by American Family Mutual Insurance Co., which paid the $5,000 policy limit of Calderon’s medical payments (MedPay) coverage but disputed the amount due under the uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage. Calderon filed suit, and the jury returned a verdict of $68,338.97 in his favor. The trial court reduced the award, pursuant to a provision of the policy agreement, by the $5,000 that had already been paid under MedPay coverage. The Colorado Court of Appeals affirmed, interpreting the language of C.R.S. § 10-4-609(1)(c), which prohibits setoffs from “[t]he amount of the [UM/UIM] coverage available pursuant to this section,” as barring only those setoffs that would reduce the coverage limit, or $300,000. The Colorado Supreme Court reversed and held that “[t]he amount of the [UM/UIM] coverage available pursuant to this section” refers to the amount of UM/UIM coverage available on a particular claim (here, $68,338.97), rather than the amount available in the abstract (here, $300,000). Therefore, C.R.S. § 10-4-609(1) barred the setoff of MedPay payments from Calderon’s UM/UIM claim.

Summary provided courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Insurer’s Definition of “Resident Relative” Void as Against Public Policy

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Grippin v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. on Thursday, September 8, 2016.

Shane Grippin was seriously injured when he was hit by a truck while riding his motorcycle. After collecting the policy limits on the tortfeasor’s insurance and his motorcycle insurance, Grippin sought underinsured motorist benefits from State Farm pursuant to his grandparents’ four policies on which he was named as an “other household driver.” Although Grippin owned a home in Colorado Springs, he and his family resided approximately one week per month with his grandparents.

State Farm moved for summary judgment on the grounds that because Grippin did not reside primarily with his grandparents, he was not a “resident relative” as contemplated by the policies. Grippin responded that State Farm’s definition of “resident relative” was void as against public policy because the qualifier “primarily” diluted the statutory definition of resident relative. He alternatively argued the contracts were ambiguous because he was listed as an “other household driver” and therefore had a reasonable expectation of coverage. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of State Farm, and Grippin appealed.

On appeal, the Colorado Court of Appeals evaluated Colorado’s statutory mandate of uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage and noted that insurance policy provisions that attempt to dilute, condition, or limit statutorily mandated coverage are void and unenforceable. The court of appeals evaluated the definition of resident relative under C.R.S. § 10-4-601(13) and found no qualifying language as to the insured’s primary residence. The court of appeals agreed with Grippin that a person can have multiple residences under Colorado law and the statute’s plain language does not restrict the definition of “resident relative” to a single, “primary” residence. State Farm argued that Grippin’s reading would render some statutory language superfluous, but the court of appeals disagreed, finding the statutory definition cohesive.

The court of appeals disagreed with Grippin’s alternative contention that the contracts were ambiguous, since the policies at issue unambiguously failed to list Grippin as a covered insured. The court also determined that Grippin could not rely on the doctrine of reasonable expectations because that doctrine would only apply after coverage was determined.

The court of appeals reversed the trial court’s grant of summary judgment and remanded for further proceedings.

Colorado Supreme Court: Ambiguity Must Exist Within Four Corners of Contract Before Looking at Extrinsic Evidence

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Hansen v. American Family Mutual Insurance Co. on Monday, June 20, 2016.

Insurance—Ambiguity, Uncertainty, or Conflict—Persons Covered—Unfair Practices—Bad Faith—Penalties.

Respondent Hansen was injured in a motor vehicle accident and presented an underinsured motorist claim to petitioner American Family Mutual Insurance Company (American Family). As proof of insurance, Hansen offered lienholder statements issued to her by American Family’s local agent that identified her as the named insured at the time of the accident. American Family’s own records, however, indicated that the named insureds on the policy at the time of the accident were Hansen’s mother and stepfather. In reliance upon the policy as reflected in its own records, American Family determined that Hansen was not insured under the policy and denied coverage. Hansen filed an action against American Family asserting, among other things, a statutory bad faith claim for unreasonable delay or denial of benefits under C.R.S. §§ 24 10-3-1115 and -1116. The trial court ruled that the deviation in the records issued by American Family’s agent and those produced by its own underwriting department created an ambiguity in the insurance policy as to the identity of the named insured, and instructed the jury that an ambiguous contract must be construed against the insurer. The jury found that American Family had delayed or denied payment without a reasonable basis for its action. The Court of Appeals affirmed, finding that the lienholder statements created an ambiguity.

The Supreme Court held that because the insurance contract unambiguously named Hansen’s mother and stepfather as the insureds at the time of the accident, the trial court and Court of Appeals erred in relying on extrinsic evidence to find an ambiguity in the insurance contract. Accordingly, American Family’s denial of Hansen’s claim in reliance on the unambiguous insurance contract was reasonable, and American Family cannot be held liable under C.R.S. §§ 10-3-1115 and -1116 for statutory bad faith. The judgment was reversed.

Summary provided courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Colorado Court of Appeals: “Resident Relative” Insurance Coverage Does Not Apply to Estranged Husband

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in GEICO Casualty Co. v. Collins on Thursday, February 25, 2016.

Summary Judgment—Resident of the Same Household for Purposes of Insurance Coverage—Boatright Factors—Intent of the Parties.

Collins lived in a house with his wife and their children until a petition for dissolution of marriage was filed in January 2013, at which point Collins moved out of the home. Collins and his wife co-owned a motorcycle and a Jeep. Upon separation, Collins took possession of the motorcycle and his wife took possession of the Jeep. In February 2013, Collins’s wife purchased a new policy from GEICO to cover only the Jeep, informing the GEICO representative that she and Collins were separated and she did not consider him to be a member of her household for purposes of the policy. He was not rated or considered for coverage under the policy.

In May 2013, Collins was injured in a motorcycle accident with an underinsured motor vehicle. In July 2013, the divorce became final. In September 2013, Collins filed a claim with GEICO for underinsured motorist coverage. GEICO denied the claim on the ground that Collins was not a resident relative because he did not reside in his former wife’s household at the time of the accident and therefore was not an insured under the policy. Collins and GEICO each sought declaratory relief on the issue of whether he was a resident of his former wife’s household at the time of the accident. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of GEICO, and Collins appealed.

Whether a person is a resident of a household for purposes of insurance coverage is determined by the facts and circumstances of each case. The fact that Collins lived apart from his wife at the time of the accident does not foreclose the possibility that he was a resident of her household, nor is the fact that they were married dispositive. The critical questions are (1) whether the spouses’ separation was intended to be permanent and (2) whether the contracting parties intended the insurance policy to cover both spouses. Given the dissolution petition, the permanent protection order barring Collins from the house where his wife lived, the undisputed evidence that the couple did not discuss or contemplate reconciliation, and their lack of contact after the dissolution petition, the Court concluded that Collins’s absence from the residence at the time of the accident was intended to be permanent. Moreover, the undisputed facts show that neither GEICO nor the wife intended Collins to be covered under the underinsured motorist provisions of the policy. Hence, under the totality of the circumstances, Collins was not a resident of his former wife’s household at the time of his motorcycle accident.

The judgment was affirmed.

Summary and full case available here, courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Colorado Court of Appeals: No Requirement of Exhaustion of Tortfeasor’s Liability Policy Prior to Collecting UIM Benefits

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Tubbs v. Farmers Insurance Exchange on Thursday, May 21, 2015.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage—Exhaustion Clause.

Tubbs was involved in a car accident in California with another driver. The accident was the other driver’s fault, and Tubbs suffered damages. The other driver’s auto insurance had a $100,000 liability limit. Tubbs was insured by Farmers Insurance Exchange (Farmers), and his policy included uninsured/underinsured motorist (UIM)coverage with a limit of $500,000. Tubbs accepted a $30,000 settlement from the other driver. He then sought to recover under his Farmers policy’s UIM provision, claiming that his total damages exceeded $100,000. Farmers refused to pay benefits, stating that Tubbs did not meet the conditions of the UIM clause, which required him to exhaust the limits of the liable party’s policy before making a UIM claim. The trial court entered summary judgment in favor of Farmers.

On appeal, Tubbs argued that the exhaustion clause in the UIM policy was void and unenforceable. UIM policies are required to cover the difference between the damages the insured party suffered and the limit of any liable party’s legal liability coverage, regardless of whether the insured party’s recovery from the liable party exhausted that limit. As applied to the facts of this case, CRS § 10-4-609(1)(c) requires that Farmers cover Tubbs for damages he sustained in excess of $100,000 (the other driver’s legal liability limit), in an amount up to $500,000 (the limit of Tubbs’s UIM coverage), regardless of how much, if any, he actually recovered under the other driver’s legal liability coverage. Because the exhaustion clause imposes a condition precedent on coverage mandated by the statute, the clause was void and unenforceable. The summary judgment was reversed and the case was remanded for further proceedings.

Summary and full case available here, courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Insurer Not Entitled to Directed Verdict Because Medical Benefit Payment Unreasonably Delayed

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Fisher v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. on Thursday, May 7, 2015.

Underinsured Motorist Coverage—Delayed Payment—Directed Verdict—Exclusion of Expert’s Testimony.

In February 2010, Fisher was injured in a collision between the vehicle he was driving and another vehicle. The other vehicle’s driver carried $25,000 in automobile liability insurance. Fisher was insured under several automobile insurance policies with defendant (State Farm) that had a combined underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage limit of $400,000. The trial court found in favor of Fisher in his claims against State Farm for unreasonably delaying and denying payment of UIM benefits.

On appeal, State Farm argued that the trial court erred in denying its motion for a directed verdict on Fisher’s statutory claim. State Farm contended that Fisher’s medical expenses were not, as a matter of law, benefits owed to Fisher at the time he initiated the lawsuit, and therefore, it could not have unreasonably delayed payment of owed UIM benefits. CRS § 10-3-1115(2) provides that “an insurer’s delay or denial was unreasonable if the insurer delayed or denied authorizing payment of a covered benefit without a reasonable basis for that action” (emphasis added). State Farm was precluded from relying on any policy language that purports to prevent Fisher from establishing a claim under CRS § 10-3-1115 until the amount of compensatory damages to which he is legally entitled to collect from the underinsured motorist has been determined. Accordingly, under the plain language of § 1115, State Farm had a duty to not unreasonably delay or deny payment of Fisher’s medical expenses. Fisher offered evidence that he had presented medical bills to State Farm totaling $61,125 at the end of September 2010, and State Farm had not paid any of those bills by the time the lawsuit was filed in July 2011. Therefore, there was sufficient evidence introduced at trial to support the jury’s verdict that State Farm unreasonably delayed paying Fisher’s medical expenses.

State Farm also argued that the trial court abused its discretion in excluding the testimony of its insurance industry standard expert. CRS § 10-3-1115(2) defines “unreasonableness” for the purpose of a claim under §§ 1115 or 1116, and State Farm was not harmed by excluding testimony contrary to Colorado law. The judgment was therefore affirmed.

Summary and full case available here, courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Noncooperation Defense Waived When Not Pleaded with Requisite Specificity

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Soicher v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. on Thursday, April 23, 2015.

Insurance—Non-Cooperation Defense—Jury Instructions—Unreasonable Denial—Unreasonable Delay.

In 2009, Manueke, who was uninsured, rear-ended another car, which in turn collided with Soicher’s vehicle. Soicher suffered a concussion in the accident, exacerbating a prior mild traumatic brain injury. At the time, Soicher had a motor vehicle insurance policy with State Farm that provided her $250,000 in uninsured motorist (UM) coverage. Seven months after Soicher filed a claim with State Farm, the insurer closed Soicher’s claim file due to Soicher’s noncooperation. Soicher later filed this action. At trial, State Farm failed to specifically plead the defense of noncooperation, but the court allowed State Farm to proceed on that defense. A jury found in State Farm’s favor.

On appeal, Soicher contended that the trial court erred in entering judgment based on State Farm’s noncooperation defense. State Farm did not plead the issue of noncooperation with the requisite specificity, and the parties did not try the issue by express or implied consent. Thus, State Farm waived the issue, and the trial court erred in entering judgment for State Farm based on that defense.

Soicher also contended that the trial court erred in refusing to instruct the jury that State Farm could be held liable, pursuant to CRS §§ 10-3-1115 to -1116, for its unreasonable denial, as opposed to its alleged unreasonable delay, in processing Soicher’s claim. State Farm did not reject Soicher’s application for benefits. To the contrary, it conceded coverage but disputed the amount that was to be paid. Accordingly, this case did not involve the unreasonable denial of Soicher’s claim.

The case was remanded for entry of judgment for Soicher and against State Farm on her breach of insurance contract claim in the amount of $125,000 plus pre-judgment interest, and entry of judgment for State Farm and against Soicher on its breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing and violations of CRS §§ 10-3-1115 and -1116 claims.

Summary and full case available here, courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.