For insurance lawyers, the above question captures the ultimate question. Most cases do not involve bad faith. They are simple breaches of the insurance contract. The Northern District, Dallas Division discussed the law in a recent opinion. The opinion is styled, Yasser Alhamzawi v. Geico Casualty Company.
This is a summary judgment opinion. Plaintiff had insurance with Geico and sustained a hail damage loss to his insured car. After an estimate, Geico issued two checks totaling $5,819.19 to Plaintiff and Plaintiff cashed the checks.
Plaintiff then got more estimates for amounts over $30,ooo. Plaintiff sent these estimates to Geico for payment. Geico had instructed Plaintiff to have the repair shop call if the amount they paid was insufficient so that a new estimate could be obtained. Plaintiff did not do this, but instead got his brother to do the repairs. Plaintiff then sued Geico for bad faith, for not fully paying the claim. Geico asserted that Plaintiff had violated the policy by not cooperating with the policy provision requiring cooperation.