Saturday, March 9, 2013

Did Fidelity National Title act in Good Faith? #2

·         Failure to offer or attempt to effectuate prompt, fair and reasonable evaluation of damages and equitable settlements of claims to insured within a reasonable time where liability is reasonably clear.

I believe that liability was reasonably clear as the claim was actually opened on my behalf by the title department of Fidelity upon discovering (apparently - although I was not provided with the documentation until four years later) that the four "parcels" listed in my prelim and grant deed were not in the seller's grant deed so therefore were not his to grant. How this actually happened is unknown.  And, of course, Fidelity National Title Insurance Company denied responsibility as they did not prepare the grant deed which was prepared I now know by Fidelity National Title Company.  I do wonder though why they would insure a grant deed prepared by someone else??  And the prelim is an offer of insurance and it, too, is prepared by Fidelity National Title Company.  So then since Fidelity National Title Insurance Company did not prepare either of these documents - were they then liable??  Good question.

So was the evaluation of damages prompt, fair and reasonable?  Well the loss was discovered in July of 2008 and the first erroneous in my opinion appraisal was completed in May of 2009 and the second in November of 2009.  So is ten months and sixteen months prompt?  I do not think so but then this is just my opinion.  Of course, my claim had to be moved all over the country from claims counsel to claims counsel - and that took a lot of time.  And it took three months to do even the first appraisal.  And the second appraisal was apparently done just to humor me after I had contacted the Department of Insurance.

And was it fair and reasonable??  I believe I have addressed my perceived quality of the two appraisals done by Jim Gibson and Phil Stefan on numerous posts.  No, I do not feel that their evaluation of the loss was either fair or reasonable.