When a Bad Apple Spoils the Bunch: An Appraiser’s Bias May Cost the Policyholder in the Long Run

In a long-awaited decision, Colorado’s highest court ruled a designated appraiser in a property insurance dispute must remain impartial and free from favoring one party over the other. Specifically, the Supreme Court held that the policy language required appraisers to be “unbiased, disinterested, and unswayed by personal interest.” This decision is a win for the insurance industry, although the Supreme Court created a framework that is certain to lead to disputes about an appraiser’s partiality in the future.

The decision in Owners Insurance Co. v.

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No Prejudice Needed When an Insured Settles Without the Insurer’s Consent

In Travelers Prop. Cas. Co. of Am. v. Stresscon Corp., 2016 Colo. LEXIS 419 (Colo. April 25, 2016), Colorado was faced with a choice: enforce the plain and unambiguous terms of an insurance policy or extend the requirement that an insurer prove it was prejudiced by its insured’s breach of the policy’s conditions before denying coverage. The Colorado Supreme Court choose the former and held that an insurer seeking to deny coverage for a breach of the no-voluntary-payments provision does not need to prove …

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Colorado Supreme Court Holds Notice-Prejudice Rule Inapplicable to Notice Requirement in Claims-Made Policies

In Craft v. Philadelphia Insurance Co., 2015 CO 11 (Feb. 17, 2015), the Colorado Supreme Court held that the notice-prejudice rule (an insured who gives late notice of a claim to his/her insurer does not lose coverage benefits unless the insurer proves resultant prejudice) does not apply to claims-made insurance policies with date-certain notice requirements.

In the underlying action, Dean Craft was the principal shareholder and present of Campbell’s C-Ment Contracting, Inc. (“CCCI”). Craft agreed to sell some of his CCCI shares to Suburban …

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