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Category Archives: Insurance Coverage

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Living in Oklahoma’s Tornado Alley and Needing Insurance

Posted in Homeowners' Insurance, Insurance Coverage, Storm Damage
Living in Oklahoma means living with tornadoes, and living with tornadoes means having to deal with tornado damage. The damage caused by tornadoes can be catastrophic. The aftermath can leave whole towns devastated. Comfort can be found in knowing that a homeowners insurance policy can help ease the pain of the damage caused by tornadoes.… Continue Reading

Apartment Complex Owner’s Inability To Speak The Language Of Insurance Creates A Costly Mistake

Posted in Agent Negligence, Insurance Coverage
We have pointed out in the past that many people do not speak the language of “insurance”. No different than medicine, the insurance industry has terms and words that have a specific meaning. If you don’t speak the language, then you don’t understand what was said. An apartment complex owner learned this lesson the hard… Continue Reading

Tulsa Apartment Fire Causes Property Damage And Potential Liability For Insurance Companies

Posted in Insurance Coverage, Property Insurance
Insurance claims can be expected from apartment building fires. When an apartment complex is faced with a fire, the consequences can be severe. The damages affect the tenants in the units, the complex owner, the property manager, and the insurance companies that provide coverage for the fire damage. In a recent fire in Tulsa, “Captain… Continue Reading

Medical Malpractice Insurer Could Not Cancel Claims Made Policy With Knowledge that A Potential Claim Was Pending

Posted in Damages, Insurance Coverage, Liability
Physicians Liability Insurance Company (“PLICO”), issued a “claims made“ medical malpractice insurance policy to Defendant Mark Valentine. As a result of Valentine’s negligence during a surgical procedure, David Wurtz died. The Oklahoma Board of Medical Licensure reviewed the situation and revoked Valentine’s medical license. Shortly thereafter, Valentine sent a letter to his insurance agency requesting… Continue Reading

“Claims Made” Versus “Occurrence” Based Insurance Policies

Posted in Insurance Coverage, Liability
Different insurance policies identify different events which trigger coverage. Two types of common insurance policies are "claims made" policies and "occurrence" policies. Under a "claims made" policy, coverage is triggered when, during the policy period, an insured becomes aware of and notifies the insurer of either claims against the insured or situations that might give… Continue Reading

Coverage Insurers Each Pay For One-Half Of The Defense

Posted in Insurance Coverage
A physician was sued for defamation and interference with business relations. The physician had liability insurance policies with two different insurers: Physicians Liability and American National. The doctor reported the lawsuit to both insurers. Physicians Liability agreed to defend the lawsuit, but American National refused to provide a defense or participate in the cost of… Continue Reading

Insurance – Automobiles

Posted in Insurance Coverage, Liability
A vehicle insured by Shelter Mutual Insurance Company was permissively being driven by an individual who was insured by American Farmers and Ranchers Mutual Insurance Company . The driver was involved in a collision that occurred when he turned left in front of another vehicle which resulted in injuries to the passengers of the second… Continue Reading

UM Insurance Coverage

Posted in Insurance Coverage
A lawsuit arose from a claim presented by the Plaintiff to the insurance company for uninsured motorist coverage. In the claim, Plaintiff stated that he was injured while riding his motorcycle. A red car passed him and cut-off a beige car traveling in the lane in front of him causing the beige car to brake… Continue Reading

Choice of Law Governing The Liability Under An Insurance Contract

Posted in Insurance Coverage
A product distributor in the oil-drilling industry was sued by several individuals claiming they were exposed to asbestos in the products distributed. The distributor subsequently filed claims with its multiple insurance companies seeking liability coverage. The insurers disagreed there was coverage for the liability claims under the policies. A series of declaratory judgment actions ensued… Continue Reading

Liquor Liability Exclusion

Posted in Insurance Coverage, Liability
An insurance company provided liquor liability coverage to a restaurant/tavern including coverage for injuries "imposed" on the insured resulting from "selling, serving or furnishing of any alcoholic beverage". The club was sued in an underlying state court action by the parent/guardians of three minor Plaintiffs who were purportedly injured as bystanders to a fight which… Continue Reading

Exclusion For Inverse Condemnation Held Valid

Posted in Insurance Coverage, Liability
An insurer sold a liability insurance policy to a municipality which specifically excluded coverage for inverse condemnation. The municipality was sued in an inverse condemnation action and filed a claim under the insurance policy after a verdict was returned against the municipality. The claim was denied under the insurance policy exclusion for inverse condemnation. As… Continue Reading

Don’t Dump The UM Coverage

Posted in Insurance Coverage, Liability
In September, 2010, a commercial auto insurance policy was issued to a county commissioner including uninsured motorist coverage for county vehicles. The liability limits of the policy included $125,000 per person and a maximum of $1 Million per accident. A county worker was injured on the job while performing road-resurfacing duties and filed a claim… Continue Reading

Oklahoma Does Not Allow Plaintiffs To Recover For Unnecessary Losses Which Could Have Been Avoided

Posted in Damages, Insurance Coverage
Unnecessary damages which could have been avoided by the insured cannot be recovered in a lawsuit for breach of contract as every Oklahoma insurance lawyer well knows.  A party who asserts a claim for breach of contract against an insurance company has a duty to use reasonable efforts to mitigate his damages.  Hidalgo Properties, Inc. v.… Continue Reading

False Statements In The Application For Insurance Can Void Coverage

Posted in Insurance Coverage
 Fraud perpetrated in any contract can relieve the other party of the duty to perform.  In other words, fraud or making false statements is legally unacceptable.  Fraud includes any statement or act that is intended to deceive someone into entering into the contract.  Fraud consists of: A Suggestion that something is true when in fact it is… Continue Reading

Courts Use Rules Of Interpretation To Decide What An Insurance Policy Really Means

Posted in Insurance Coverage
It is no surprise there is often disagreement over whether an insurance policy provides coverage. There are competing interests to be accommodated and sometimes the language used is clearer to one person than another. We are often asked, “How do judges decide what the insurance policy really means?” There are volumes of books in law… Continue Reading

Under Oklahoma Law An Insurance Policy Is A Contract

Posted in Insurance Coverage
Some people, including insurance adjusters, forget an insurance policy is a legally binding contract.  Claim representatives who adjust a lot of liability and third-party claims sometimes tend to confuse the issue of coverage under a policy with liability for the accident.  These issues are not related. One reason insurance policies don’t seem like binding contracts is… Continue Reading

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