Reasonable Insurance Settlement Cases In California
The implied covenant entails a duty to pay a reasonable amount in settlement "based on a fair appraisal of potential exposure and the strength of each case." (Isaacson v. California Ins. Guarantee Assn. (1988) 44 Cal. 3d 775, 793 244 Cal. Rptr. 655, 750 P.2d 297).
As noted earlier, an insurer may be found in bad faith for failing to consider evidence relevant to the issues of liability. ( Mariscal v. Old Republic Life Ins. Co., supra, 42 Cal. App. 4th at p. 1624; Hughes v. Blue Cross of Northern California, supra, 215 Cal. App. 3d at p. 846; Betts v. Allstate Ins. Co., supra, 154 Cal. App. 3d 688).
The implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing requires the insurer to "take into account the interest of the insured and give it at least as much consideration as it does to its own interest." (Comunale v. Traders & General Ins. Co., supra, 50 Cal. 2d at p. 659; Egan v. Mutual of Omaha Ins. Co., supra, 24 Cal. 3d at pp. 818-819; Crisci v. Security Ins. Co., supra, 66 Cal. 2d at p. 429).
Thus, "in deciding whether or not to compromise the claim, the insurer must conduct itself as though it alone were liable for the entire amount of the judgment," without taking into account policy limits. (Johansen v. California State Auto. Assn. Inter-Ins. Bureau, supra, 15 Cal. 3d at p. 16).