Tuesday, July 02, 2019

Insurance Notice & Disclaimer of Coverage

On Eye on Real Estate this past Saturday, we discussed insurance and the need to provide timely notice in accordance with the terms of an insurance policy if you have an insurance claim.

Let me make this point completely clear - Do Not Trust Your Insurance Agent and make sure you give notice pursuant to the express terms of the policy if you have a claim. This is particularly true if you are being sued.

To understand the importance of this, you should read Insurance Law 3420 and the case of Villavicencio v. Erie Insurance Company.

Yes, it is true that the law's purpose and express language makes it very difficult for an insurer to disclaim coverage for insufficient notice. However, subsection (c)(2)(B) creates a lot of risk in an insured who is relying on the language of the statute to avoid disclaimer if such insured receives a summons and complaint in a lawsuit. (c)(2)(B) explains that if an insured defaults in a court case prior to notifying their insurer, that insurer can properly disclaim coverage. Additionally, subsection (c)(2)(B) creates further risk because it provides that if failure to notice impairs the ability to investigate or defend, the policy can likewise be disclaimed.

So, please don't just trust a law designed to protect consumers, instead - NOTICE YOUR INSURER WHEN YOU ARE SUED.


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