Stuart D. Morse & Associates, L.L.C. Stuart D. Morse & Associates, L.L.C.
Colorado Insurance Defense And Business Litigation Attorneys
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What happens when insurers, insureds differ over policy language?

That above-posed blog headline cuts straight to the chase concerning subject matter that often takes center stage in contractual disputes between policyholders and insurance companies in Colorado and elsewhere across the country.

Like California, where litigation is currently playing out in an interesting and notable matter between sparring parties in so-called "waiver of premium" cases.

Here's the bottom line in what presently pits some insured parties against national insurance giant Hartford Life and Accident Insurance Company in class action litigation: plaintiffs say that Hartford Life is wrongly interpreting policy language to deprive policyholders of coverage they are entitled to, and the insurer is steadfastly defending itself against that allegation.

The sparring centers on select language in certain policies that allows policyholders to forgo premium payments if they become totally disabled.

In a nutshell, Hartford has shown obvious disagreement concerning California statutory law that defines Total Disability in a demonstrably open-ended and liberal fashion.

In that state, disability is conceded when a worker cannot perform "the substantial and material duties" relevant to his or her job. That threshold has been deemed applicable for some California residents with Hartford Life policies, who have been demanding continued coverage while simultaneously pointing to contractual language that enables them to stop paying premiums while disabled.

Hartford has pushed back on the definition-related point, denying waiver-of-premium claims in cases where individuals can be demonstrably shown to have the capacity to engage in "any work."

The litigation, which was initially commenced in a state court, is now under the oversight of a federal judge.

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