David Yates and Leah Yair published an article in Bloomberg Law on 10/26. The authors discuss the recent decision in the Michigan Court of Appeals that sets new precedent on the validity of e-signatures. Yair and Yates focus on the details of the case, how it affects the validity of e-signatures, and how insurance companies should change their policies to avoid situations arising from e-signatures.
"The Court of Appeals didn't specify what constitutes evidence of the e-signature being that of the insured, so it isn't yet clear what a court may deem as sufficient evidence," write Yair and Yates. "[The court's] decision seems to indicate a trend that courts may not enforce an e-signed form for reduced coverage, when contested, without additional proof that the e-signature is the insured's signature."
In this case, the claimant electronically signed a document lowering their policy limit but appealed that their signature was invalid since there was no evidence of intent to sign. Despite the court ruling that the signature was not valid, the insurance company was able to find other evidence of the claimant's intent to reduce their policy limit. While the insurance company got out of this situation, Yair and Yates offer guidance on how to avoid the situation in the future.
"The Court of Appeals found that an electronically typed name on a document does not by itself establish that the individual electronically signed the document in accordance with UETA," the pair wrote. "Insurance carriers and underwriting departments should create safeguards to ensure policy choices are not contested later."
Read the article in full, click here.