The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania has clarified the question of whether, under Pennsylvania law, an insured may transfer the right to recover damages against his or her insurance company in an insurance bad faith claim to a third party. In a recent decision in AllState Property and Casualty Insurance Company v. Jared Wolfe, No. 39 MAP 2014, 2014 WL 7088147 (December 15, 2014), the Supreme Court ultimately decided that yes, an insured may assign their rights to pursue an insurance bad faith action to a third party.
A Pennsylvania state court has found Nationwide Insurance Co. engaged in bad faith in handling its insured’s first party auto insurance claim and in its litigation tactics when the dispute led to a lawsuit. The court’s forty page opinion catalogues the types of specific conduct that evidences bad faith in violation of Pennsylvania Insurance Bad Faith Statute ( 42 Pa. C. S. A. § 8371), which warrants an imposition of punitive damages to deter insurers from engaging in such conduct.