In Nibert v. GEICO Casualty Co., ___ P.3d ___, No. 16CA0322, 2017 WL 710504, 2017 COA 23 (Colo. Ct. App. Div. V February 23, 2017) (STATED NOT RELEASED FOR PUBLICATION IN THE PERMANENT LAW REPORTS UNTIL AFTER REHEARING OR CERTIORARI REVIEW, IF ANY), a policyholder sued her underinsured motorist (UIM) carrier on both a common law bad faith claim, and on a statutory claim of delayed payment of policy benefits. Both claims required proof on the issue of "reasonableness" of the carrier's behavior.
However, more than proof that the UIM claim was "fairly debatable" was required to prove "reasonableness":
Contrary to Geico Casualty's argument, the tendered instruction went beyond the reasonableness of a challenge to a claim that is fairly debatable. Instead, the instruction, as tendered, misstated the law by effectively conflating the reasonableness elements of the common law bad faith claim and the statutory delay claim by inquiring only into whether Nibert's claim was fairly debatable. Colorado law is clear that whether a claim is fairly debatable is not the sole inquiry in a reasonableness analysis.
Nibert v. GEICO Casualty Co., ___ P.3d ___, No. 16CA0322, 2017 WL 710504, AT *2 ¶ 12, 2017 COA 23 (Colo. Ct. App. Div. V February 23, 2017) (STATED NOT FINAL).
The Colorado appellate court affirmed a trial court's judgment entered on jury verdicts in favor of the policyholder on both of her claims against the UIM carrier in this case.
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