The Third-Party Cases Fair Actions

Civil Code Section 2870 defines “third-party claimant” as each individual seeking recovery against an insured under a liability insurance policy or a self-funded liability protection program, fund, or plan, for bodily injury; wrongful death; or property damage resulting from an incident involving a motor vehicle; including, without limitation, damages resulting from loss of consortium or loss of care, comfort, society and the like resulting from wrongful death.

An “insurer” shall mean any insurer licensed pursuant to or subject to the regulations under the Insurance Code which provides liability insurance to an insured against whom a third-party claimant makes a claim for bodily injury, or for property damage resulting from an incident involving a motor vehicle.

“Liability insurance” means that portion of a personal or commercial insurance policy or a private self-funded liability protection program, fund or plan, which provides liability coverage for bodily injury, or for property damage resulting from an incident involving a motor vehicle.

“Bodily injury” means physical injury, sickness or disease sustained by a person, including death. “Bodily injury” does not mean emotional distress of any kind resulting from economic loss or emotional distress resulting from a cause other than economic loss unless accompanied by actual physical manifestations of such emotional distress.

Civil Code Section 2871 states that an insurer shall act in good faith toward and deal fairly with the third-party claimants. A third-party claimant may bring an action against an insurer doing business in the State of California to recover damages, including general, special, and exemplary damages, for commission of any unfair claims settlement practices specified in Paragraphs 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 or 15 of subsection (h) of Section 790.03 of the Insurance Code, as it relates to a third-party claimant.

An insurer shall not be considered to have violated its obligation to act in good faith and deal fairly with the third-party claimant because of the insurer

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