In Oliver v. State Farm Fire and Cas. Ins. Co., a case recently decided by the Minnesota Supreme Court, SJJ attorneys Alex Jadin and Tim Johnson brought home another big win for insurance policyholders.

In the Oliver case, an insurance company (State Farm Fire and Casualty Insurance Company) sought to avoid its obligation to pay interest rightfully owed to a policyholder. Specifically, the insurance company challenged an insurance policyholder’s right to pre-award interest on an insurance appraisal award and argued that claims for interest are subject to a 90-day statute of limitations under Minnesota’s arbitration laws.

SJJ took a stand on behalf of the insurance policyholder (Oliver) to protect the rights of property insurance policyholders throughout Minnesota. SJJ successfully argued to the Minnesota Supreme Court that interest is a matter of right under Minnesota law, and is not subject to a 90-day statute of limitations.

The Minnesota Supreme Court agreed with SJJ and found that: (1) only courts can award interest to an insurance policyholder, not appraisal panels; and (2) that the 90-day statute of limitations State Farm relied on under Minnesota’s arbitration laws does not apply to claims for pre-award interest on insurance appraisal awards. Even though the issue was not before the Minnesota Supreme Court, it also decided that Minnesota’s arbitration laws do not apply to insurance appraisals – a significant clarification of the laws applicable to insurance appraisals.

SJJ continues to be on the cutting edge of the law with respect to protecting the rights of insurance policy holders and defeating insurance companies’ arguments against paying their policyholders what they are rightfully owed. If you believe that your insurance company is not treating you fairly, give us a call today.

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