We’ve received several comments about the case worth reposting here.
From an Amerind rep:
Amerind’s policies require Amerind to pay all judgments rendered against its policyholders. For over 25 years, Amerind has consistently honored this commitment.
The United States Housing and Urban Development has also approved and recognized Amerind as the only authorized insurance entity for Indian country.
The Eighth Circuit’s decision applies in a very narrow set of circumstances—where suit is brought directly against Amerind rather than the policyholder.
From Richard Monette:
It seems that to the extent Amerind is in fact “self-insuring” it is indeed acting more as a government than a business and that such activity may be cloaked in the the charter Tribes’ immunity. However, it also seems that to the extent that Amerind is not self-insuring, it is indeed acting more as a business than a government and may not carry the charter Tribes’ immunity beyond the governing territories of those Tribes. Is a company not chartered by Turtle Mountain but doing business in Turtle Mountain really “self-insuring”? Note to Turtle Mountaineers: if you wish for these types of catastrophes to be covered by insurance, your tribe/housing authority must establish its own section 477 self-insurance entity, as each tribe should, the likely original intent of the law.
And from Richard Phelps (previously and erroneously noted as Richard Monette):
I am a firm believer in sovereign immonity but cases like this that push the limits, put that immunity in grave danger.
Also why would you purchase insurance from a company that can not be sued if it refuses to pay a claim. I guess State farm would like this deal.
And a link to a commentary by Gabe Galanda on his blog. His post is titled, “Amerind Should Clearly Waive Its Immunity in Insurance Contracts.”