Failure-to-cooperate Defense First-party Insurance
The act bars an insurer from using a failure-to-cooperate defense in an action regarding the insurer's request for information from the insured about a claim unless:
- The insurer has submitted a written request to the insured for the information;
- The information necessary for litigation is not available to the insurer without the assistance of the insured;
- The request provides the insured 60 days to respond;
- The written request is for information a reasonable person would determine the insurer needs to adjust the claim filed by the insured or to prevent fraud; and
- The insurer gives the insured an opportunity to cure within 60 days and provides notice to the insured within 60 days, describing, with particularity, the alleged failure to cooperate.
A failure-to-cooperate defense acts as a defense to the portion of the claim that is materially and substantially prejudiced to the extent the insurer could not evaluate or pay that portion of the claim. Any language in an insurance contract that conflicts with the act is void. If an insurer is giving the insured the time to respond or cure under the act, the insurer is not liable for failing to pay the claim while providing the time.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)