Despite first party insurance policies generally requiring cooperation from an insured in the investigation of a claim, insurers can no longer rely on the failure to cooperate as a defense in a claim for first party insurance benefits in Colorado unless certain conditions are met.
On July 2, 2020, Colorado Governor Jared S. Polis signed House Bill 20-1290 which addresses the ability of an insurer to use a failure to cooperate defense in an action where the insured has made a claim for benefits under an insurance policy. This bill bars an insurer from raising the failure to cooperate unless the following conditions are met:
- The insurer submitted a written request to the insured or the insured’s representative for the information (via electronic means if consent was given by insured or insured’s representative, or via certified mail);
- The information is not available to the insurer without the assistance of the insured;
- The written request provides the insured 60 days to respond;
- The written request is for information a reasonable person would determine the insurer needs to adjust the claim filed by the insured or to prevent fraud; and
- The insurer gives the insured an opportunity to cure, which must:
- Provide written notice to the insured of the alleged failure to cooperate, describing with particularity the alleged failure within 60 days after the alleged failure; and
- Allow the insured 60 days after receipt of the written notice to cure the alleged failure to cooperate.
Reprinted courtesy of Gordon & Rees attorneys Christine Kroupa, John Palmeri and Katelyn Werner
Ms. Kroupa may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Palmeri may be contacted at email@example.com
Ms. Werner may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org