Bad Faith and Claims by a Third Party for Property Damage to Automobile
A statute modeled after O.C.G.A. § 33-4-6 provides a remedy for third parties with claims for property damage under a tortfeasor’s automobile liability policy. O.C.G.A. § 33-4-7(a) provides:
In the event of a loss because of injury to or destruction of property covered by a motor vehicle liability insurance policy, the insurer issuing such policy has an affirmative duty to adjust that loss fairly and promptly, to make a reasonable effort to investigate and evaluate the claim, and, where liability is reasonably clear, to make a good faith effort to settle with the claimant potentially entitled to recover against the insured under such policy. Any insurer who breaches this duty may be liable to pay the claimant, in addition to the loss, not more than 50 percent of the liability of the insured for the loss or $5,000.00, whichever is greater, and all reasonable attorney’s fees for the prosecution of the action.