Parks v. Safeco Insurance Co. (2009) 170 Cal.App.4th 992

Herb Fox

Case Conclusion Date:January 28, 2009

Practice Area:Insurance

Outcome:Affirmed

Description:Under what circumstances must an insurance company search its own records to determine whether it issued a policy that might cover a claim? Here, a 17 year-old minor whose parents were divorced, tendered a claim under a policy insuring the home where her mother lived. The insurance company denied coverage because the minor actually lived with her father and grandmother. But the insurance company failed to disclose that it had also issued a policy covering the grandmother’s home. The Court of Appeal found that under these unique circumstances, an insurance company has a duty to search its own records for the existence of an insurance policy that might cover the claim, and it affirmed a $3.2 million bad faith judgment.