Court Strikes a Blow to Insurance Company Over Alleged Statutory Breaches


This is the case of Allen v. Protective Life Ins. Co., No. 1:20-cv-530-JLT-CDB, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 49147 (E.D. Cal. Mar. 22, 2023).

A landmark court decision recently rocked the insurance industry when a court denied Protective’s motion for judgment in a case alleging non-compliance with lapse and notice requirements. The case, Allen vs. Protective, is emblematic of the broader issue of insurance companies possibly acting in bad faith.

Court Upholds Policyholder’s Quest for Declaratory Relief

The plaintiff, Allen, filed a complaint against Protective, alleging that the company continues to evade compliance with statutory requirements regarding policy lapse notices. In a remarkable move, the court denied Protective’s motion for judgment, asserting that declaratory relief is essential in resolving this uncertainty. The entire court’s decision is available here.

Diving Into the Insurer’s Alleged Bad Faith

Protective’s actions are under scrutiny for potentially violating the covenant of good faith and fair dealing. Under this covenant, insurers are expected to act in the best interests of the policyholders. However, the allegations suggest that Protective may have been more interested in safeguarding its bottom line than in fulfilling its obligations.

This particular case sheds light on the possibility of Protective acting in bad faith, an issue that is unfortunately not rare in the insurance industry.

The Domino Effect: How This Case Could Change the Game for Many

This legal showdown is not just about Allen or Protective; it has ramifications that could affect many policyholders and insurance companies across the country.

Other policyholders in similar circumstances might feel empowered to take legal action against insurance companies who they feel have not acted in good faith.

Moreover, this could also signal a potential shift in the legal landscape, with courts becoming less tolerant of insurance companies bending the rules to their advantage.

Armoring Up: How You Can Protect Yourself

If you’re a policyholder, it’s vital to be proactive in ensuring that you don’t find yourself in a similar predicament. Here’s how:

  • Stay Informed: Know your policy inside and out. Be aware of your rights and the insurance company’s obligations.
  • Keep Records: Document every interaction with your insurance company. This will be invaluable if you ever need to prove your case.
  • Seek Legal Counsel: Don’t be afraid to seek legal advice if you believe your insurer might be acting in bad faith.
  • Be Prepared to Fight: If necessary, be prepared to take your insurer to court. As this case shows, sometimes that’s what it takes to ensure justice is served.

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The Bottom Line

Allen vs. Protective is a wakeup call for policyholders and a warning to insurance companies. The case represents a triumph for those who fight for their rights and expose bad faith on the part of insurers. As policyholders, staying informed and vigilant is the key to ensuring that insurance companies fulfill their duties without fail.

By Samuel Lopez, Legal News Contributor for USA Herald