A federal court in Oklahoma granted summary judgment in favor of an insurer on its insured’s bad faith claim, holding that the denial of coverage on the basis of a policy exclusion was not in bad faith because Oklahoma law finding such exclusions against public policy and invalid was not handed down until after the insurer’s determination. Bryant v. Sagamore Ins. Co., 2014 WL 1600359 (E.D. Okla. Apr. 21, 2014).
An individual specifically excluded from the insured’s auto policy was involved in an automobile accident in the insured’s vehicle. The insured contacted his insurance agent and the other driver involved in the accident made a claim against the policy. After the insured failed to appear at an examination under oath following repeated attempts by the insurer to contact the insured, the insurer denied coverage on the bases that the driver was an excluded driver on the policy and the insured’s failure to cooperate. Litigation ensued, and the court determined that denial of coverage for lack of cooperation was sufficient, and further held that the plaintiff’s reliance on an Oklahoma Supreme Court case published after the insurer’s denial (finding named driver exclusions unenforceable as against public policy) was improper because the coverage determination based on that exclusion was made beforehand.