One assumption that even many commercial-lines policyholders make is to assume that the insurance adjuster that they are dealing with is an “expert” on their insurance coverage (ref. “You’re in good hands…”).  As if anyone needed one more example that that simply is not a safe assumption to make, read in disbelief the case linked below, from Judge Suko in the Eastern District of Washington.  The insured tendered a massive lawsuit to its carrier, whose adjuster apparently read only a canceled policy form as part of his “investigation” prior to denial, and did not catch the fact that coverage was specifically provided by an endorsement to other policies.  Judge Suko very property found that reviewing the wrong policy is per-se bad faith on the part of an insurer.  Fortunately, in Washington the insured is at least in a position to be fairly compensated in extra-contractual damages for that kind of behavior, through Washington’s robust bad-faith set of laws.  In Oregon, the story would be different, unfortunately.

DYE SEED, INC. v. FARMLAND MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY, Dist. Court, ED Washington 2013 – Google Scholar:

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