March 21, 2023
Idaho Code § 41-1839 is a terrifying statute. Under that statute, any insurer who fails to pay someone amounts owed within 30 days after a proof of loss has been furnished (or within 60 days if the policy is for uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage) must pay attorney fees. This language seems very straightforward, but the difficulty with it is the lack of definitions. What is a proof of loss? When is it furnished? How does the 30-day (or 60-day) deadline work? When are the fees available? The statute doesn’t specifically answer these questions.
Catherine Freeman and JT Bloomer co-authored the article, Thoughts on Proof of Loss, that was published in the Idaho Association of Defense Counsel’s recent issue of The Dynamics of Civil Defense newsletter, and it provides some recommendations in dealing with this statute.