A recent Missouri Court of Appeals Western District case entitled Scottsdale Insurance Company and Wells Trucking Inc. vs. Addison Insurance Company, et al case number WD 75963 recently reaffirmed and made clear the elements necessary in Missouri to prove bad faith for failure to settle on behalf of an insured.
The Missouri Court of Appeals for the Western District stated that the elements are 1) that the insurer has the authority to settle a claim against its insured within or by payment of the policy limits; 2) that the insurer had the opportunity to settle a claim against its insured within or by payment of the policy limits; and 3) that the insurer failed to settle a claim against its insured within or by payment of the policy limits in bad faith; and 4) that the insured suffer damages as a proximate result.
Though the case in Scottsdale dealt with an excess insurance policy and the ability of the excess insurer to bring a claim in equity against the primary insurer, it is good to see the Missouri Court of Appeals affirming the elements of bad faith in Missouri.
There are time where insurance companies fail to act in good faith on behalf of their insured, thus exposing them to risk of losing their individual assets or risk of exposure to consequential damages. At Jensen law, we represent injured individuals and many times will end up helping them with an bad faith claim that results from an insurance company’s failure to settle in good faith for policy limits.