In this pro se underinsured motorist bad faith case, the court observes that the insured failed to respond to the motion to dismiss, and pleaded in a contradictory manner.
Our focus here is on the claim that the carrier initially offered a $10,000 UIM payment, but ultimately did agree to pay $50,000. The court read this to mean the insured alleged bad faith based upon a delay in paying UIM benefits.
The insured did not plead any facts, however, that could support a bad faith theory that the delay in payment was unreasonable. “He provides no timeline for when the accident occurred, when the claim was filed, when [the insurer] offered him the insufficient amount(s), or [the insurer’s] stated reasons for doing so. His bald assertion that [the insurer] took too long is not enough.”
[Note: Even though citing the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s 2017 Rancosky decision in its opinion, the court erroneously cited pre-Rancosky law that an “insured must also show that the insurer breached a known duty (i.e., the duty of good faith and fair dealing) through a motive of self-interest or ill will.” As set forth in our Rancosky summary, while conduct showing self-interest or ill will could be relevant in supporting a bad faith claim, an insured is not required to prove self-interest or ill will as elements of a bad faith claim.]
Date of Decision: March 4, 2022
Bond v. GEICO, U.S. District Court Eastern District of Pennsylvania No. 2:21-CV-02966, 2022 WL 657069 (E.D. Pa. Mar. 4, 2022) (Wolson, J.)