The Supreme Judicial Court recently issued a decision that confirms the legality of consent-to-settle clauses in professional liability insurance policies. In Rawan v. Continental Casualty Company, the SJC held that the refusal of an insured party to settle an underlying tort claim limits the insurance company's exposure to claims of unfair claim settlement practices as long as the company operates in good faith.
The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently dismissed a borrower's putative class action lawsuit under the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act, alleging that a lender and insurer fraudulently insured the borrower's property after the borrower's homeowner's policy expired. In Cohen v. American Security Insurance Co., 735 F.3d 601 (7th Cir. 2013), the homeowner held a secured loan with Wachovia Mortgage, FSB, which required her to maintain homeowner's insurance on the residence as a condition of her loan agreement. When the homeowner's policy lapsed, Wachovia purchased replacement coverage at a rate more than twice as expensive as she had previously paid. Id. at 603. Wachovia charged the homeowner for the cost of the replacement coverage. Id. The coverage procured by Wachovia also included a commission to Wachovia's insurance agent affiliate, a feature allowed under the loan agreement. Id.