Articles Tagged with Bad Faith Insurance Law

timely demand and insurance claimsWhat Is Considered Timely Demand?

A proper “demand” for payment that complies with O.C.G.A. § 33-4-6 is essential to recovery.  In evaluating the sufficiency of a demand, a court should consider its purpose.  The purpose of the demand requirement “is to adequately notify an insurer that it is facing a bad faith claim so that it may make a decision about whether to pay, deny or further investigate the claim within the 60-day deadline.”

On its face, the demand requirement is straightforward.  The statute’s plain language would appear to require only that the insurer refuse to pay within 60 days of a demand.    This straightforward language notwithstanding, courts have added additional requirements to the demand through case law.

Exclusions, Exceptions And Limitations

In contrast to the grant of coverage in an insurance policy, exceptions and exclusions to coverage must be narrowly and strictly construed against the insurer and liberally construed in favor of the insured to afford coverage.  A contract of insurance is construed most strongly against the insurer and liberally in favor of the insured, particularly where the insurer seeks to deny coverage based upon a policy exclusion. Exceptions, limitations and exclusions to insuring agreements require a narrow construction on the theory that the insurer, having affirmatively expressed coverage through broad promises, assumes a duty to define any limitations on that coverage in clear and explicit terms. Where an insurer grants coverage to an insured, any exclusions from coverage must be defined clearly and distinctly. Exclusions are strictly construed.

Ambiguities

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