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Survey Article


During this Survey period, the courts in Georgia returned to the usual abundance of automobile and uninsured motorist (UM) cases, the summaries of which make up most of this annual update. The courts decided three cases involving UM coverage limits that were less than the policies’ liability limits and the claims of insureds that the carriers owed coverage equal to the liability limits. The insurers prevailed in all three cases. In a fourth case, the Georgia Court of Appeals determined that an insured could not sue a tortfeasor in the name of “John Doe,” where the person’s name was known but his whereabouts were unknown.The court of appeals also decided that an insurance policy delivered in Georgia could be interpreted according to Kentucky law and considered, but did not decide whether a requirement that the insured notify the insurer of a proposed settlement was a substantive or remedial matter.The case was therefore returned to the trial court on that issue.In the liability insurance arena, there were a couple of important decisions concerning declaratory judgment actions, another involving the cooperation of an insured in a liability claim, and another concerning liability coverage under a homeowner’s policy for injury claims relating to an incident involving a motor vehicle. In the property arena, the survey found both state and federal decisions on first-party issues like rescission, the duty to read, coverage under a “seepage and leakage” exclusion, and the legal effect of accepting premiums after a lapse in coverage.

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