Sep 22, 2008 Robert A. Olson
Court of Appeal holds insureds’ misrepresentations in prior insurance claim are relevant to denial of current claim

Peralda v. Fire Insurance Exchange (2008) 2008 Cal.App. Unpub. LEXIS 7673 (California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Division Four). [unpublished]. Plaintiff insureds sued GMSR’s client, claiming a bad faith denial of their fire loss claim. The carrier denied coverage because the insured admitted to providing inaccurate information and refused to answer other questions concerning their claim. During the course of the investigation, the carrier learned that the insureds had made material misrepresentations in connection with a prior, related fire claim. The plaintiffs lost after a bench trial. On appeal, they argued that the trial court erred by denying their motion in limine to bar evidence regarding the prior fire claim. Agreeing with GMSR’s arguments, the Court of Appeal affirmed. It held that plaintiffs had waived any objections by failing to renew them after denial of their motion in limine and that, in any event, evidence of misconduct regarding the prior fire claim was relevant to a determination whether the carrier properly denied the second fire claim.