Tuesday, March 8, 2016

An insured's delay in giving notice.

Practice point:  Where an insurance policy requires that notice of an occurrence be given "as soon as practicable," notice must be given within a reasonable time in view of all of the circumstances. However, circumstances may exist that will excuse or explain the insured's delay in giving notice, such as a reasonable belief in nonliability.  It is the insured's burden to demonstrate the reasonableness of the excuse.

Student note:  In general, whether there existed a good faith belief that the injured party would not seek to hold the insured liable, and whether that belief was reasonable, are questions of fact for the fact-finder. Summary judgment may be granted in favor of the insurer only if the evidence, construing all inferences in favor of the insured, establishes as a matter of law that the insured's belief in nonliability was unreasonable or in bad faith.

Case:  Aspen Ins. UK Ltd. v. Nieto, NY Slip Op 01449 (2d Dep't 2016)

Here is the decision.

Tomorrow's issue:  Motions to renew and to dismiss for failure to timely serve a complaint.