What is a Ridley Payment?

What is a Ridley Payment?

Ridley for Reasonably Clear

Ridley payments require an insurer to pay an injured third party’s medical expenses before final settlement. Under Montana Law, insurance companies have certain obligations to injured parties that begin when liability is “reasonably clear.”[1] Liability is reasonably clear when a reasonable person, with knowledge of the relevant facts and law, would conclude, for good reason, that the defendant is liable to the plaintiff2. For example, if you were in a car accident because the other party ran a red light, liability is reasonably clear because the driver who hit you was failing to drive in a way that would avoid injuring the general public. In this case, the insurance company would admit liability and Ridley obligations would begin. Ridley obligations require the insurer to pay those medical expenses, not in dispute, that are caused by the accident in advance.


Under Montana Code Annotated 33-18-2013- Unfair claim settlement practices prohibited.

A person may not, with such frequency as to indicate a general business practice, do any of the following:

(5) Fail to affirm or deny coverage of claims within a reasonable time after proof of loss statements have been completed;

(6) Neglect to attempt in good faith to effectuate prompt, fair, and equitable settlements of claims in which liability has become reasonably clear;

(13) Fail to promptly settle claims, if liability has become reasonably clear, under one portion of the insurance policy coverage in order to influence settlements under other portions of the insurance policy coverage


Medical expenses from even minor injuries can be devasting. Many times, insurance companies refuse to pay your medical bills even when liability is reasonably clear. It is our job to make sure they pay the necessary bills and ensure you can get the treatment you need. Contact Ryan Holloway & Miller, we are here to help if you are having trouble receiving your advanced payments. Call us today at (406) 542-2233.




[1] Ridley v. Guar. Nat’l Ins. Co., 286 Mont. 325, 951 P.2d 987 (1997).



2 Peterson v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co., 2010 MT 187, 357 Mont. 293, 239 P.3d 904.



3 Mont. Code Ann. §33-18-201 (2021).