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Insurance Code - INS

DIVISION 1. GENERAL RULES GOVERNING INSURANCE [100 - 1879.8]

  ( Division 1 enacted by Stats. 1935, Ch. 145. )

PART 1. THE CONTRACT [100 - 679.74]

  ( Part 1 enacted by Stats. 1935, Ch. 145. )

CHAPTER 6. Loss [520 - 580]

  ( Chapter 6 enacted by Stats. 1935, Ch. 145. )

ARTICLE 3. Notice and Proofs of Loss [550 - 557.5]
  ( Article 3 enacted by Stats. 1935, Ch. 145. )

550.
  

In case of loss upon an insurance against fire, an insurer is exonerated if notice thereof is not given to him without unnecessary delay by an insured or some person entitled to the benefit of the insurance.

(Enacted by Stats. 1935, Ch. 145.)

551.
  

Except in the case of life, marine, or fire insurance, notice of an accident, injury, or death may be given at any time within twenty days after the event, to the insurer under a policy against loss therefrom. In such a policy, no requirement of notice within a lesser period shall be valid.

(Enacted by Stats. 1935, Ch. 145.)

552.
  

When preliminary proof of loss is required by a policy, the insured is not bound to give such proof as would be necessary in a court of justice; but it is sufficient for him to give the best evidence in his power at the time.

(Enacted by Stats. 1935, Ch. 145.)

553.
  

All defects in a notice of loss, or in preliminary proof thereof, which the insured might remedy, and which the insurer omits to specify to him, without unnecessary delay, as grounds of objection, are waived.

(Enacted by Stats. 1935, Ch. 145.)

554.
  

Delay in the presentation to an insurer of notice or proof of loss is waived, if caused by an act of his, or if he omits to make objection promptly and specifically upon that ground.

(Enacted by Stats. 1935, Ch. 145.)

555.
  

If a policy requires, by way of preliminary proof of loss, the certificate or testimony of a person other than the insured or beneficiary, there is sufficient compliance with the requirement if the insured or the beneficiary (a) uses reasonable diligence to procure the certificate or testimony, and (b) in case of refusal to give it to him, furnishes reasonable evidence to the insurer that the refusal was not induced by just grounds of disbelief in the facts necessary to be certified or testified.

(Amended by Stats. 1941, Ch. 876.)

557.
  

It is a misdemeanor for any person alone or in concert to prepare or make any bid or other writing which falsely purports to be a bona fide offer to repair a damaged motor vehicle or any other damaged property, with the intent that the same be used for the purpose of fraudulently leading an automobile liability insurer to believe:

(a) That a bid of some other person represents an offer made in open competition; or

(b) That the policy provisions of such insurer governing bids for the repair of vehicles or other property insured under the policy have been complied with in good faith.

(Added by Stats. 1959, Ch. 1907.)

557.5.
  

(a) A peace officer, member of the Department of the California Highway Patrol, or firefighter shall not be required to report, nor shall any employer of the same be authorized to request or require that a peace officer, member of the Department of the California Highway Patrol, or firefighter report, any accident in which he or she is involved while operating an authorized emergency vehicle, as defined in subdivision (a), (b), or (f) of Section 165 of the Vehicle Code, or any employer-leased or employer-rented vehicle in the performance of his or her duty during the hours of his or her employment, to any person who has issued that peace officer, member of the California Highway Patrol, or firefighter a private automobile insurance policy.

(b) (1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law or any provision in a private passenger motor vehicle owner’s automobile liability insurance policy, in the event of a loss or injury that occurs as the result of an accident during any time period when that private passenger motor vehicle is operated by an employee who is a peace officer, member of the Department of the California Highway Patrol, or firefighter and is used by him or her at the request or direction of the employer in the performance of the employee’s duty, the vehicle’s owner shall have no liability. The peace officer, member of the Department of the California Highway Patrol, or firefighter shall report and provide, within 10 days of the accident, to his or her private automobile insurer all documentation and information known to him or her related to the accident. The employer shall be considered the owner of the vehicle for the purpose of any liability and defense of the claim, and any losses shall be borne solely by the employer.

(2) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the employer shall assume liability for and defense of a claim in which a dispute exists as to whether the employer directed or requested the employee to use the private passenger motor vehicle when the loss occurred that gave rise to the claim.

(3) If it is subsequently determined that the employer did not direct or request the employee to use the private passenger motor vehicle when the loss occurred, the employer and employee shall provide notice to the private passenger motor vehicle’s insurer of this determination and provide all documentation and information known to him or her related to the claim or loss to the private passenger motor vehicle’s insurer within 10 days of the determination. The private passenger motor vehicle insurer that insures the vehicle shall reimburse the employer the reasonable costs of defense to the extent of the insurer’s obligation and up to the coverage limits under the applicable automobile liability insurance policy.

(4) A good faith delay by an employee in reporting the accident to his or her private passenger motor vehicle liability insurer, under the circumstances described in this section, shall not be used by the insurer as a basis to claim delayed reporting, noncooperation, prejudice, or the like as a means of avoiding the defense or indemnity obligations that would otherwise exist under the terms of the automobile liability insurance policy or applicable law in the absence of delayed reporting. This subdivision shall apply only if the employee complies with requirements set forth in paragraphs (1) and (3).

(5) This subdivision shall not apply to the operation of a private passenger motor vehicle when operated by an employee, otherwise subject to this section, for the purposes of reporting to or from his or her regularly assigned work location.

(c) As used in this section:

(1) “Peace officer” means every person defined in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2 of the Penal Code.

(2) “Policy” shall have the same meaning as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 660.

(3) “Private passenger motor vehicle” or “private motor vehicle” means a motor vehicle that is insured under a personal automobile liability insurance policy insuring a single individual or individuals residing in the same household as the named insured, but does not include a vehicle with less than four wheels.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 823, Sec. 2. (AB 2298) Effective January 1, 2013.)

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