Presented by the Insurance Agents & Brokers Liability Practice Group

Legal Updates For Insurance Agents & Brokers – RESULTS & THOUGHT LEADERSHIP


Ray Freudiger and Donielle Willis (Cincinnati, OH) successfully defended an insurance broker in a negligence claim. After a tornado damaged his property, the third-party plaintiff rented an excavator that was damaged due to a collision during its operation. Before renting the excavator, the third-party plaintiff contacted our client, an insurance broker, requesting that the agency procure insurance to protect him against loss to the excavator. Our client arranged for third-party plaintiff’s purchase of two policies; however, the specific collision that occurred was not covered under either policy. The insurance company for the rental facility paid for repairs to the excavator and demanded reimbursement from the third-party plaintiff who, in turn, requested our client satisfy the claim. The third-party plaintiff eventually dismissed his claims against our client after Ray and Donielle argued: (1) the third-party plaintiff could not satisfy the elements needed to establish a negligence claim; (2) our client made no negligent misrepresentation of fact; and (3) our client did not owe a fiduciary duty to the third-party plaintiff. There were no facts to support a finding that there was negligence just because this specific instance was not covered by the policies in place. An insured has a duty to read his policies and a failure to do so does not impute negligence. Additionally, there were no misrepresentation of facts and there was no fiduciary duty between the agent and the insured. For there to be a fiduciary duty between an agent and insured, there must be a mutual understanding of such, which was not the case here.

Dante Rohr (Orlando, FL/Mount Laurel, NJ) obtained dismissal of a third-party complaint against an insurance broker. The third-party plaintiff alleged the broker failed to procure a CGL policy without a lead exclusion, resulting in no coverage for a tenant’s lead poising claims.

*Prior Results Do Not Guarantee a Similar Outcome


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