39-71-2203, MCA

Moreau v. Transportation Ins. Co. [08/26/15] 2015 MTWCC 17 Under § 39-71-2203, MCA, an insurer’s duty to pay benefits is nondelegable.  The Court reject an employer’s unsupported argument that it could circumvent this statutory language by agreeing to indemnify its insurer.

Morse v. Liberty Northwest Ins. Corp. [05/03/12] 2012 MTWCC 16 The Court held that although the insurer characterized its relationship with its insured as a “complete disconnect,” ARM 24.5.301(4) states that it should not be construed as relieving any employer from its duty to cooperate and assist its insurer; this Court previously rejected an insurer’s argument that it did not have access to its insured’s files to answer discovery; and § 39-71-2203(1)(a), MCA, imputes an employer’s knowledge to the insurer.  By accepting the responsibility for injury reporting and claims filing, Petitioner’s employer stood in the place of Respondent insurer in dealing with injured workers and acted as Respondent’s agent.

[2001] Hernandez v. ACE USA [4/24/03] 2003 MTWCC 32 By giving its insured veto power over settlements, the insurer violated section 39-71-2203(3), MCA (2001), which provides that insurers owe a direct duty to claimants to pay benefits.