For years, plaintiff’s attorney Montie S. Day has sued California auto insurers, arguing that the policy exclusion precluding coverage for first-party diminution of value damages claims is unenforceable. On November 30, 2023, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Uyanik v. Wawanesa (an unpublished decision) affirmed the Northern District of California Court’s dismissal of Ali Uyanik’s (Day’s client) first amended complaint and sanctioned Mr. Day $5,000 for pursuing a frivolous appeal. The Court held that Uyanik’s breach of contract claim was “grounded in the plainly incorrect assertion that California law requires insurance providers to coverer all losses, including diminution of vehicle value and loss of vehicle use, because policy exclusions are ‘void and unenforceable under California law as against public policy and contradict the statutes passed by the California Legislature.’” The Court of Appeal also held that Uyanik’s fraud claim failed because bald allegations that Wawanesa sold insurance policies but didn’t intend to indemnify insureds for all loss did not meet Rule 9(b)’s heightened pleading standards and Uyanik’s CLRA claim failed because “the CLRA does not apply to insurance.” Continue Reading Attorney Challenging First-Party Diminution of Value Claims Sanctioned by Ninth Circuit
In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown orders, policyholders were driving less and insurance company severities and loss ratios were reduced. This resulted in a temporary increase in insurance company profits. Beginning in April 2020, the California Department of Insurance (“DOI”) issued a series of Bulletins, ordering insurers to provide premium refunds to policyholders. Initially, many insurers complied, providing partial refunds during the early months of the pandemic.Continue Reading The Tide Shifts in California Covid Premium Refund Cases
Auto insurers are often asked by their insureds and third-party claimants to pay for what are known as “diminished value” damages in connection with car accidents. Generally speaking, “diminished value” is the loss of market value of the damaged vehicle caused by the accident. Cars that have been involved in accidents are generally worth less than cars that have not. That is one of the reasons Carfax reports exist, identifying whether a particular vehicle has been involved in a significant accident.Continue Reading Are Third-Party Diminished Value Damages Claims Covered in California?
On January 1, 2023, California enacted SB1155, a law setting parameters for reasonable time-limited settlement demands. In a prior blog post, Jordan Derringer and Michael Bean discussed the statute…Continue Reading New Time-Limited Settlement Demand Laws Need Testing in Court