In property insurance cases, there were two Georgia Supreme Court decisions with the potential for significant impact. The court held that insurance companies are liable for diminution in value of real property under commercial and homeowners insurance policies, extending the reasoning in State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. v. Mabry beyond motor vehicles for the first time. Answering a certified question, the supreme court also held a one-year suit limitation in a homeowners insurance policy is enforceable for losses not caused by fire, despite an insurance commissioner-issued regulation that would prohibit any limitation shorter than, two years.
Despite an insurer's plea that it faced irreconcilable conflicting obligations, the Georgia Court of Appeals held that an insurer faced with a time limit, policy-limit demand, and a hospital lien cannot escape liability to the hospital by paying its policy limits to the injured party, but an insurer might create a "safe harbor" from bad-faith liability where the claimant unreasonably refuses to assure the satisfaction of the lien, and the insurer satisfies the lien and pays any remaining proceeds to the claimant.
Wolff, Bradley S.; Schatz, Stephen; and Cotter, Stephen L.
Mercer Law Review: Vol. 64:
1, Article 11.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.mercer.edu/jour_mlr/vol64/iss1/11