Saturday, March 9, 2013

With my Claim did Fidelity National Title act in Good Faith?

Did Fidelity National Title look for and find ways to accept and pay my claim properly and promptly???

Well this is an excellent question.  I think the easiest way is to go through the points of bad faith actions and see if any of them apply.  This might help.

·         An insurer may be acting in bad faith if the insurer delays, discounts or denies payment without a reasonable basis for its delay, discounting or denial.

Well I was first assigned to a claims counsel in Walnut Creek then Chicago then a couple of different ones in Omaha.  Each one added months and months to the process.  The claim took so long to process that by the time I received the final response from Jeff Hansen I no longer owned the property and he then decided that coverage because of that was no longer appropriate.  Interesting. Did they all stall and delay in the processing of the claim to delay it knowing that I was letting it be foreclosed on so that they could then legally state that coverage was not appropriate?

Discount??  Well they hired an appraiser Jim Gibson from Boise Idaho who first did a cost to cure appraisal to Cavedale Road in Sonoma County to replace my easement to Mount Veeder Road in Napa County using misleading and inaccurate information such as comparing my property in Oakville to a market area of American Canyon.  Mr. Gibson's second appraisal found the loss of my mile long easement had a value of $0 in a diminution of value appraisal.  My evaluation of properties which were comparable to mine and all of the neighboring showed a diminution in value of hundreds of thousands of dollars.  So did Fidelity by using an out of area appraiser from their "approved" list discount the value of my claim??

And did Fidelity National Title deny my claim?  One of the more interesting things was that Claims Counsel #3 Robert Kelly actually discovered through further research that the easements were apparently valid.  So then he or someone posed the question of what to do as Fidelity had told me that the easements were not valid and I was marketing it such.  And the response was to let me know this (but the letter to be honest was not clear) and then to say that coverage was excluded (which was clear.)  But I did not understand this as it would not be covered if the easements were not in the public record............but a Fidelity Title Officer had provided me with the public records prior to my purchasing the property.  Additionally, Jeff Hansen, Jennifer Reeves, Ryan Forrest, Richard McNeely and Edward Kunnes continued to handle the claim as is it were valid.  They did not deny the claim as it had been opened by a Fidelity Title employee - they just felt that the value of the loss was nothing.  So I guess that other than Robert Kelly no one denied the claim.