California business owners and entrepreneurs should have peace of mind regarding the ability and professionalism of their accountants. Some of that peace of mind may come in the form of the accountant's malpractice insurance. Also referred to as errors and omissions insurance, or E&O insurance, malpractice policies apply to cover harm to clients resulting from misinterpreted or misleading statements, errors, breaches of professional duty, performance-related claims or professional negligence.
Previously, we began looking at a dispute between Farmers Insurance and the California Department of Insurance over whether the agency is allowed, under Proposition 103, to retroactively review previously approved insurance rates.
Insurance rate-setting is an important issue for insurance companies, since it has a direct impact on their ability to pay claims and their financial viability. Profit is certainly not the only concern when it comes to insurance rate setting—there is also the need to ensure that consumers are being treated fairly. California law accounts for both of these factors.
Previously, we began looking at the massive jury verdict in favor of the plaintiff in a talc liability case against Johnson & Johnson. As we noted, talc liability litigation has to be a frustrating thing for the company to be dealing with, given that the weight of the overall evidence does not support finding a connection between use of talc-containing products and development of ovarian cancer.
Previously, we began looking at California’s Fair Claims Settlement Practice Regulations, which identify some of the minimum standards insurance companies need to follow in order settle claims fairly. In addition to this statute, another source of law for bad faith insurance claims is implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing.
Last time, we began looking at the difference between breach of contract and bad faith insurance claims, noting that breach of contract claims are the more common form of litigation since most of an insurance company’s duties to insured are governed by the contractual agreement between the two parties. When an insurance company doesn’t honor its obligations under the contract, the insured is entitled to seek relief in court based on the insurance company’s contractual obligations.
Whether you are an individual or a business, insurance coverage is critical to protect against certain risks. As consumers of insurance products, individuals and businesses expect that their insurance carriers will honor their agreements and their legal duties to consumers. When they don’t, the costs to insurance consumers can be significant.
Previously, we briefly looked at a federal case involving a dispute about insurance coverage for lead and copper exposure in a school district’s water supply. As we noted, at issue in the case were insurance policy exclusions for pollution and lead contamination coverage.
Insurance coverage is critical for businesses in covering liabilities related to environmental and public health claims, as these can become costly. Businesses should expect that their insurers will have their back when they file a valid claim under the terms of their policy. Unfortunately, insurance companies are out for profit and are keen to limit their coverage obligations whenever possible.
Previously, we began looking at a case in which an insurance company was ordered to pay $50,000 in punitive damages to a business for denying coverage for fire losses due to a mistake in the insurance company’s records. As we noted, both the finding of insurance bad faith and the award of punitive damages were upheld on appeal.