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FILED-RATE DOCTRINE AND FAILURE TO EXHAUST ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDIES - EX PARTE THE CINCINNATI INSURANCE CO.

In Ex parte The Cincinnati Insurance Co., [Ms. 1081699, June 11, 2010] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. 2010), the Alabama Supreme Court granted a writ of mandamus filed by the Cincinnati Insurance Company and instructed the trial court to dismiss the plaintiff's complaint because the filed-rate doctrine requires dismissal and, alternatively, the plaintiff failed to exhaust administrative remedies. In the underlying action, Plaintiff Ray Peacock filed a complaint on behalf of himself and a putative class, alleging claims of breach of contract, fraudulent misrepresentation, fraudulent suppression, and unjust enrichment. Plaintiff alleged that, by charging premiums for UM coverage on more than three vehicles under a single policy, and because the maximum number of vehicles that can be stacked is three, the Cincinnati Insurance Company "overcharges for UM coverage it knows it will never have to provide." The Court held that outside the limited judicial review provided by the Insurance Code, a court cannot review claims of unreasonable rates previously approved by the Insurance commissioner in actions where the commissioner is not a party. Because the Plaintiff did not seek relief from the Department of Insurance prior to filing claims in court, dismissal of the action was warranted.
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