Monday, May 24, 2010

Commencement of a Declaratory Judgment Action Can Constitute Timely Written Notice of Disclaimer Under New York Insurance Law § 3420(d)(2)

Blue Ridge Ins. Co. v. Empire Contr. & Sales, Inc.
(2nd Dept., decided 5/18/2010)

New York Insurance Law § 3420(d)(2) provides:
If under a liability policy issued or delivered in this state, an insurer shall disclaim liability or deny coverage for death or bodily injury arising out of a motor vehicle accident or any other type of accident occurring within this state, it shall give written notice as soon as is reasonably possible of such disclaimer of liability or denial of coverage to the insured and the injured person or any other claimant.  (Emphasis added.)
Must the "written notice" of a liability insurer's disclaimer or denial always take the form of a letter, or can the insurer's commencement of a declaratory judgment action satisfy the written notice requirement? 

In REVERSING the Suffolk County Supreme Court's order granting summary judgment against Blue Ridge Insurance Company, the Second Department reminded:
Here, the plaintiff's commencement of the subject declaratory judgment action on August 15, 2001, constituted timely notice of disclaimer as to Juneau (see Generali-U.S. Branch v Rothschild, 295 AD2d 236, 237-238; see also Continental Cas. Co. v Employers Ins. Co. of Wausau, 60 AD3d 128, 135). 

No comments: