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There are ten jurisdictions from which cases have been reported and found in which the Courts have declared a legal duty for liability insurance companies to initiate settlement negotiations even in the absence of a settlement demand from the claimant. Oklahoma is one such jurisdiction.
However, in a recent case it was held that an excess carrier did not have a duty to initiate settlement negotiations until the underlying, primary carrier exhausted its policy limits, as the excess insurance policy required before any obligation of the excess carrier came into being.
Or so the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals has predicted. SRM, Inc. v. Great Am. Ins. Co., 798 F.3d 1322, 1325-26, 1329 (10th Cir. 2015) (predicting Oklahoma law in a case of apparent first impression concerning an excess liability carrier).
Please Read The Disclaimer. ©2015 by Dennis J. Wall, author of Litigation and Prevention of Insurer Bad Faith (3d ed. Thomson Reuters West in 2 Volumes, with 2015 Supplements). All rights reserved.
Merry Christmas to All and to All a Good Year in 2016!