NOVEMBER 2014 BAD FAITH CASES: INSURER EXPOSED TO BAD FAITH CLAIM BY USING INSURED IN CLAIMS HANDLING PROCESS INSTEAD OF PAYING FOR THIRD PARTY TO DO THE WORK (WHERE INSURED FELL THROUGH A ROOF) (Western District)
In Selmek v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co. the insurance adjuster had asked for some assistance from the insured in inspecting a damaged roof and securing it from further damage, as a result of which the insured fell through the roof. The insured brought claims for negligence and bad faith.
The Court found that the insurer had a contractual duty of good faith to inform the insured that under the policy the insurer had to pay for a third party contractor to take on these sorts of risks in securing the property.
The insured alleged that the insurer had the insured take on these tasks to improperly save money by not hiring a contractor, as required under the policy. This sufficiently stated a statutory bad faith claim.