Degennaro v. American Bankers Insurance Company of Florida, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96372 (D.N.J. June 22, 2017)

New Jersey federal court reaffirms that, absent special circumstances, an insurer does not owe a fiduciary duty to an insured.

In a coverage dispute encompassing several claims, an insured alleged its insurer breached its fiduciary duty. The court acknowledged there are circumstances where an insurer owes a fiduciary duty, but it recognized that these are limited. For example, when “an insurer, acting as an agent to the insured when settling claims, owes a fiduciary duty,” and “an insurance company owes a duty of good faith to its insured in processing a first-party claim.” Without these types of special circumstances, a claim for breach of fiduciary duty cannot survive when the parties are acting in a normal contractual posture.


Case Law Alerts, 4th Quarter, October 2017

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