Articles Tagged with Bad Faith And Partial Payments

No Bad Faith For A Partial Payment

It is not considered bad faith for a partial payment when amount of the claim is reasonably questioned. In Shaffer v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., the insured was injured in an automobile accident. The insured’s automobile policy provided for payment of reasonable medical expenses incurred as a result of automobile accidents. After the accident, the insured was transported by ambulance and treated. The insurer paid the ambulance and hospital costs. The next day, the insured saw an internist who referred her for physical therapy. The insurer paid the internist’s bill but retained the services of an independent physician to determine if the physical therapy bill was excessive. The physician concluded that certain bills were excessive and that the records did not indicate the necessity of physical therapy. The physician recommended partial payment of $1,185.81, which the insurer tendered. The insured filed suit for the balance, alleging bad faith. The trial court granted partial summary judgment to the insurer on the bad-faith claim, finding the refusal to pay reasonable as a matter of law because of the advice of the independent physician.

The Court of Appeals affirmed, citing Jones v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., which held as follows:

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