Cincinnati Insurance Company v. Ropicky (Insurance Claim Investigation)

In Cincinnati Insurance Company v. Ropicky (2020AP791), the District II Court of Appeals held that an agent acting on behalf of an insurer to conduct a post-loss claim investigation was not exempt from liability for negligence.


Homeowners Ropicky and Leichtfuss filed a property damage claim with Cincinnati Insurance Company, the issuer of their homeowners’ insurance policy. Cincinnati hired Infratek to investigate the claim and ultimately denied a large portion of the claim. The homeowners sued Infratek, alleging that the company was negligent in its investigation of their claim. The circuit court found that Infratek was exempt from liability as an agent of the insurer and granted Infratek’s motion for summary judgement, dismissing the claims against it. The homeowners appealed.


The appellate court found that the circuit court erred in granting Infratek’s motion for summary judgement on the ground that the company was exempt from liability under Wis. Stat. § 895.475. The appellate court found that this statute did not apply to exempt the agent of an insurer from liability for a claim investigation conducted pursuant to a property insurance claim.

This opinion was recommended for publication in the official reports.