Insurance Agent Fraud - who is responsible? - KOTA Territory News

Insurance Agent Fraud - who is responsible?


Gary Jensen
Beardsley, Jensen and Von Wald

Two insurance companies were not held liable for their agent's theft of thousands of dollars in Hass v. Wentzlaff, 2012 S.D. 50.  

The agent was not acting within the course and scope of his employment when he stole the money because his actions: (1) were motivated solely by his own personal interests, and (2) not foreseeable to the insurance companies.  

Also, a South Dakota statute did not change the common law analysis to be made in these circumstances to impose strict liability on an insurance company for the acts of its agents.

The decision articulates when an insurance company can be/will be held liable for the bad acts – theft – by one of its agents.

E-mail Gary is intended as general information on legal issues affecting us all.  This information should not be relied upon in any particular case and should never be used in lieu of consulting with an attorney.

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