Wyoming Requires Insurer Prejudice for Late Notice
August 25, 2016

The Wyoming Supreme Court ruled on August 17, 2016 that an insurer “must be prejudiced before being entitled to deny coverage when the insured has failed to give notice ‘as soon as practicable.’” In addressing a certified question from the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, the Wyoming opinion said it is joining 38 other states with a notice-prejudice rule. Under the rule, the Court held that a late notice determination requires that there first be a determination that notice was untimely and then a finding that the insurer was prejudiced. The Court also rejected the insurer’s language that said late notice could preclude coverage “whether [the insurer] is prejudiced or not,” saying that the provision was against the public policy supporting the notice-prejudice rule.