Archives: Auto Insurance

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Superiority and Mootness of Injunctive Relief Claim Addressed in Recent Denial of Class Certification

A recent decision by a Washington federal district court caught my eye because it involved a circumstance I often see—a new development in the law results in a class action lawsuit being filed before the defendant has an opportunity to change its practices in response to the change (or clarification) in the law. This decision … Continue Reading

Medicare Secondary Payer Act Class Actions

There have been a substantial number of putative class actions filed recently against insurers involving the Medicare Secondary Payer Act (MSPA). These cases are typically filed by assignees of Medicare advantage organizations that have paid for medical services arising from auto accidents. The claim is that under the MSPA, the PIP/MedPay coverage under auto policies … Continue Reading

Compliance With Medicare Secondary Payer Act At Issue In Auto Insurance Case

A recent decision in the District of New Jersey addressed an auto insurer’s obligations to comply with the Medicare Secondary Payer Act. Auto insurers may wish to review their practices and procedures in light of this decision. In Negron v. Progressive Casualty Insurance Company, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 24994 (D.N.J. Mar. 1, 2016), the plaintiff … Continue Reading

Total Loss Valuations: Class Certified By Louisiana Federal Court

Insurers or their vendors generally use software to perform valuations of vehicles for total losses on auto insurance claims. This software will typically use databases of recent sales or prices offered for comparable vehicles in the area to estimate a vehicle’s value, and enable adjustments to be made for equipment, mileage, condition and other factors. … Continue Reading

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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