California Civil Jury Instructions (CACI)

2300. Breach of Contractual Duty to Pay a Covered Claim—Essential Factual Elements

[Name of plaintiff] claims that [name of defendant] breached its duty to pay [him/her/it] for a loss covered under an insurance policy. To establish this claim, [name of plaintiff] must prove all of the following:

1. That [name of plaintiff] suffered a loss, [all or part of] which was covered under an insurance policy with [name of defendant];

2. That [name of defendant] was notified of the loss [as required by the policy]; and

3. The amount of the covered loss that [name of defendant] failed to pay.

New September 2003

Directions for Use

The instructions in this series assume the plaintiff is the insured and the defendant is the insurer. The party designations may be changed if appropriate to the facts of the case.

This instruction is intended for first party coverage claims. Use the bracketed language in element 2 if the jury is required to resolve a factual dispute over whether the manner in which the insurer received notice conformed to the policy requirements for notice. For a claim arising under an insurance binder rather than an issued policy, see CACI No. 2301, Breach of Insurance Binder—Essential Factual Elements. If the policy at issue has been lost or destroyed, read CACI No. 2305, Lost or Destroyed Insurance Policy. For instructions on general breach of contract issues, see the Contracts series (CACI No. 300 et seq.).

Sources and Authority

  • “Wrongful failure to provide coverage or defend a claim is a breach of contract.” (Isaacson v. California Insurance Guarantee Assn. (1988) 44 Cal.3d 775, 791 [244 Cal.Rptr. 655, 750 P.2d 297].)

Secondary Sources

Croskey et al., California Practice Guide: Insurance Litigation (The Rutter Group) ΒΆΒΆ 15:52, 15:924

2 California Liability Insurance Practice: Claims & Litigation (Cont.Ed.Bar) General Principles of Contract and Bad Faith Actions, §§ 24.2, 24.23

6 Levy et al., California Torts, Ch. 82, Claims and Disputes Under Insurance Policies, § 82.50[2][c] (Matthew Bender)

26 California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Ch. 308, Insurance (Matthew Bender)

12 California Points and Authorities, Ch. 120, Insurance, §§ 120.83, 120.90, 120.115 (Matthew Bender)