Is it covered?

I get questions often about coverages on insurance policies. Often times the answer is simple. Especially if the question has to do with Property Coverage.  There are details clearly spelled out in the policy that explain the terms of coverage.  Such as, the deductible, limits, causes of loss etc.   However, the questions that I get most often have to do with liability. These questions are not as cut and dry. 1st off, just because there is a claimant who says an entity is responsible, does not mean that they public entity IS responsible.  Who decides?  Not the carrier, not the insured, the courts decide.  A general liability policy normally promises to pay DAMAGES for bodily injury or property damage that the named insured is legally liable for. That is determined by a court.

Laws give additional protections to public entities above and beyond what are offered to a private citizen or business. Please see an outline of those protections below.

NEBRASKA SCOPE OF GOVERNMENT IMMUNITY

For claims Against State: State Tort Claims Act, Neb. Rev. Stat. § 81-8,209 et seq.

  •  The State is liable in the same manner and to the same extent as a private individual. Neb. Rev. Stat. § 81-8,215.
  • Limitations on State liability are listed at Neb. Rev. Stat. § 81-8,219.

For claims Against Political Subdivisions: Political Subdivisions Tort Act, Neb. Rev.Stat § 13-901 et seq.

  • Subdivisions are liable in the same manner and to the same extent as a private individual. Neb. Rev. Stat § 13-908.
  •  Limitations on Political Subdivision liability are listed in Neb. Rev. Stat. § 13-910.

NOTICE AND FILING REQUIREMENTS

For claims against the State:

  • All tort claims filed with the Risk Manager as prescribed by the State Claims Board. Neb.. Rev. Stat. § 81-8,212.
  • No suit shall be permitted unless the Risk Manager or State Claims Board has made final disposition of the claim, except that if the Risk Manager or board does not make final disposition of a claim within 6 months after the claim is made in writing and filed with the Risk Manager in the manner prescribed by the board, the claimant may, by notice in writing, withdraw the claim from consideration of the Risk Manager or board and begin suit under such act. Neb. Rev. Stat. § 81-8,213.
  • Claims must be to the Risk Manager within 2 years of accrual. The time to begin suit is extended by 6 months from the date of mailing of notice to the claimant by the Risk Manager or State Claims Board as to the final disposition of the claim or from the date of withdrawal of the claim under section 81-8,213 if the time to begin suit would otherwise expire before the end of such period. Neb. Rev. Stat. § 81-8,227.

For claims against Political Subdivisions:

  • Notice of claim to governing body within 1 year of accrual. Suit filed within 2 years of accrual. The time to file suit is extended 6 months from the date of mailing of notice to the claimant by the governing body as to the final disposition of the claim or from the date of withdrawal of the claim from the governing body under section 13- 906 if the time to begin suit would otherwise expire before the end of such period. Neb. Rev. Stat. § 13-919.
  • No suit shall be permitted under the Political Subdivisions Tort Claims Act unless the governing body of the political subdivision has made final disposition of the claim, except that if the governing body does not make final disposition of a claim within six months after it is filed, the claimant may, by notice in writing, withdraw the claim from consideration of the governing body and begin suit under such act and sections. Neb. Rev. Stat. § 13-906.

DAMAGE LIMITATION

  • For claims against Political Subdivisions: $1,000,000 per person and $5,000,000 per occurrence. Neb. Rev. Stat. § 13-926.

JURISDICTIONS COMPARATIVE CHART

Suits Against Public Entities For Injury or Wrongful Death Pose Varying Procedural Hurdles