Tag Archives: Pennsylvania

Can a Raccoon Engage In Vandalism Under an Insurance Policy?

The Western District of Pennsylvania recently had to answer the question of whether a raccoon’s actions in destroying a property can be considered vandalism or malicious mischief under an insurance policy. The trial court found that “raccoons and their companions in the animal kingdom cannot formulate the intent needed to engage in vandalism, malicious mischief, … Continue Reading

Pennsylvania Unfair Insurance Practices Act

Every state has laws that prohibit unfair, discriminatory, or deceptive insurance practices. These regulations are normally encompassed as statutes or regulations enacted to protect insurance consumers. Pennsylvania has a statute enacted called the “Unfair Insurance Practices Act,”1 This law gives the consumer the right to file complaints against their insurance company to be investigated by … Continue Reading

Are Suit Limitation Provisions in the Policy Enforceable . . . And is the Insurer required to Show Prejudice?

Not sure when to sue your insurer? Property insurance policies typically contain a contractual suit limitation provision that sets the time within which policyholders may file suit on the claim. Some states allow the insurer to require in the policy that the policyholder file suit in as little as one year from the date of … Continue Reading

How To File A Complaint With The Pennsylvania Department of Insurance About Your Delaying, Denying and Bad Treating Insurance Company

The last thing an insured should do with regards to a homeowners insurance claim is to sit back and wait for the insurance company to do the right thing. There are many ways in which an insured can combat a delaying, denying, and bad treating insurance company with the most obvious being retaining a public … Continue Reading

Can My Insurance Company Stop Me From Making A Bad Faith Claim By Merely Pointing To Its Own Inspections And Damages Estimate?

In a previous post, Insurance Company Acting in Bad Faith? Pennsylvania Protects Policyholders if Facts Are Plead, I discussed the importance of Pennsylvania’s insurance bad faith statute1 and how insurers routinely attempt to avoid litigating the substance of those bad faith claims by filing motions to dismiss alleging pleading deficiencies. Recently, the District Court for … Continue Reading

Insurance Company Acting in Bad Faith? Pennsylvania Protects Policyholders if Facts Are Plead

Policyholders need insurance laws which protect them if their insurance company delays, denies or wrongfully adjusts their claim. Attorneys have long recognized that insurance law is a specialized niche area of the law with strange nuances. Attorneys not dedicated to this field of law may fail to appreciate or may even miss small but important … Continue Reading

Merlin Law Group Webinar – How Rancosky and other Pennsylvania Regulations Help Put You in the Adjustment Driver Seat

Join Robert Trautmann and myself, on February 16, 2018, at 2:00 pm for a free one-hour webinar to discuss the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania’s recent decision in Rancosky v. Washington National Insurance Company,1 which upheld the current bad faith standards and specifically noted that an insured need not prove malicious intent to prevail on a … Continue Reading

Court Holds Actual Cash Value Policy Provision Unconscionable

Sometimes when researching one issue, a case will pop up that isn’t what we were looking for, but nonetheless is worthy of note. While I was trying to help a public adjuster with some case law research the other day, I came across this gem out of Pennsylvania. Back in 1991 the Superior Court of … Continue Reading

Supreme Court of Pennsylvania Upholds Bad Faith Standards But Does Not Require a Showing of Malicious Intent

In Pennsylvania, 42 Pa.C.S. § 8371 permits an insured to recover punitive damages, court costs, attorney’s fees and interest, on claims where an insurer has acted in bad faith. On September 28, 2017, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania issued a ruling1 upholding the current bad faith standards and specifically noting that an insured does not … Continue Reading

Allstate Voids Policy and is Awarded Damages Due to Policyholder Misrepresentations

On November 22, 2016, Judge Berle M. Schiller from the District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania issued his Opinion and Order in Payne v. Allstate Insurance Company, granting summary judgment to Allstate and awarding them $25,000 in damages, after finding that the Plaintiff made material misrepresentations while securing the homeowners policy.… Continue Reading

Grandson Residing on Property Was an “Insured” for Purposes of Policy’s “Intentional Loss” Exclusion

In property insurance coverage disputes, whether or not someone is considered an “Insured” depends on a variety of factors. The first step is to look to the language of the governing insurance policy to see how an “Insured” is defined. Often, however, the answer to this question turns on the facts surrounding any given claim … Continue Reading

Federal Court Refuses to Dismiss Bad Faith Claim Where Adjuster Instructed Insured to Secure Roof with Tarp and Insured Suffered Injuries

In a recent Memorandum Order out of the Western District of Pennsylvania, Selmek v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Company,1 a State Farm adjuster requested that the insured assist her in inspecting a damaged roof and securing it from further damage. Carl and Amy Selmeks’ home and detached garage (located 100 yards away from the … Continue Reading