Illinois Supreme Court Puts the Brakes on Named Driver Exclusion

The Illinois Supreme Court held in Thounsavath v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., 2018 IL 122558, that an insurer cannot rely on a named driver exclusion to deny underinsured motorist coverage to its insured because the exclusion is unenforceable under Illinois’ mandatory automobile insurance statutory scheme and the state’s public policy.

State Farm provided automobile liability and uninsured motorist (UM)/underinsured motorist (UIM)coverage to Thounsavath, which contained a named driver exclusion stating no liability shall attach “while any motor vehicle is operated by …

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Keeping Up with the Times: Nevada Supreme Court Declares Under What Circumstances Insurers Must Provide Independent Counsel

In an opinion issued on September 24, 2015, the Nevada Supreme Court addressed the issue of under what circumstances an insurer is obligated to provide its insured with independent counsel.

The case, State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. Hansen, arises out of injuries sustained by Hansen while attempting to leave a house party. A number of guests at the party were crowding around and sitting on Hansen and his companions’ vehicle in an attempt to prevent them from leaving. Eventually, amidst a hail …

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Louisiana Supreme Court Expands Failure to Settle and Misrepresentation Claims Against Insurers

In Kelly v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Co., 2015 La. LEXIS 697 (La. May 5, 2015), the Louisiana Supreme Court answered two critical questions regarding an insurer’s claim handling responsibilities. First, the court held that an insurer can be found liable for bad faith failure to settle, notwithstanding that the insurer never received a firm settlement offer. Second, the court held that an insurer can be found liable for misrepresenting or failing to disclose facts that are not related to the insurance policy’s …

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Mo’ Conflict, More Problems: Illinois Choice-of-Law Analysis Now Less Favorable for Insurers

Choice-of-law analyses are extremely significant when it comes to coverage disputes, especially those involving underlying blast fax suits brought under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (47 U.S.C. §227, et. seq.), as the question of which state’s law applies will often be determinative of whether there is insurance coverage for the TCPA claim.  The classic example involves a class representative strategically filing suit in Illinois, an historically coverage-friendly jurisdiction for TCPA lawsuits, with an eye on obtaining insurance coverage.  This strategy just got easier for …

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