2006 New Mexico Statutes - Section 59A-16-20 — Unfair claims practices defined and prohibited.

59A-16-20. Unfair claims practices defined and prohibited.

Any and all of the following practices with respect to claims, by an insurer or other person, knowingly committed or performed with such frequency as to indicate a general business practice, are defined as unfair and deceptive practices and are prohibited:   

A.     misrepresenting to insureds pertinent facts or policy provisions relating to coverages at issue;   

B.     failing to acknowledge and act reasonably promptly upon communications with respect to claims from insureds arising under policies;   

C.     failing to adopt and implement reasonable standards for the prompt investigation and processing of insureds' claims arising under policies;   

D.     failing to affirm or deny coverage of claims of insureds within a reasonable time after proof of loss requirements under the policy have been completed and submitted by the insured;   

E.     not attempting in good faith to effectuate prompt, fair and equitable settlements of an insured's claims in which liability has become reasonably clear;   

F.     failing to settle all catastrophic claims within a ninety-day period after the assignment of a catastrophic claim number when a catastrophic loss has been declared;   

G.     compelling insureds to institute litigation to recover amounts due under policy by offering substantially less than the amounts ultimately recovered in actions brought by such insureds when such insureds have made claims for amounts reasonably similar to amounts ultimately recovered;   

H.     attempting to settle a claim by an insured for less than the amount to which a reasonable person would have believed he was entitled by reference to written or printed advertising material accompanying or made part of an application;   

I.     attempting to settle claims on the basis of an application that was altered without notice to, or knowledge or consent of, the insured, his representative, agent or broker;   

J.     failing, after payment of a claim, to inform insureds or beneficiaries, upon request by them, of the coverage under which payment has been made;   

K.     making known to insureds or claimants a practice of insurer of appealing from arbitration awards in favor of insureds or claimants for the purpose of compelling them to accept settlements or compromises less than the amount awarded in arbitration;   

L.     delaying the investigation or payment of claims by requiring an insured, claimant or the physician of either to submit a preliminary claim report and then requiring the subsequent submission of formal proof of loss forms, both of which submissions contain substantially the same information;   

M.     failing to settle an insured's claims promptly where liability has become apparent under one portion of the policy coverage in order to influence settlement under other portions of the policy coverage;   

N.     failing to promptly provide an insured a reasonable explanation of the basis relied on in the policy in relation to the facts or applicable law for denial of a claim or for the offer of a compromise settlement; or   

O.     violating a provision of the Domestic Abuse Insurance Protection Act [ 59A-16B-1 to 59A-16B-10 NMSA 1978].   

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