reservation of rights News

Washington Court Further Clarifies Defense Counsel’s Role in ROR Defense

The Washington Court of Appeals recently found (Arden v. Forsberg & Umlauf, P.S., 193 Wash.App. 731, 373 P.3d 320 (2016)), on first impression, that insurer retained attorneys (defense attorneys) were not automatically prohibited from representing insureds merely because the defense …

No Homeowner Liability Coverage for an Insured’s ‘Negligent’ Assault, Even if Insured Was Intoxicated

Nicholas Fiocchi sued Ronald Zatyco for assaulting him after a verbal argument between them at a bar earlier the same evening. Fiocchi’s complaint in Pennsylvania state court attempted by artful pleading to capture Zatyco’s parents’ homeowners coverage, alleging that the …

Mastering the Blue Ridge Settlement Reservation of Rights, Part 1

For decades, California insurers have been told they have a duty to accept reasonable settlement demands within their policy’s limits. As the California Supreme Court emphasized in Johansen v. Cal. State Auto. Assn. Inter-Ins. Bureau, 15 Cal.3d 9, 16 (1975), …

When is a Claim For Reimbursement of Defense Costs Ripe?

The California Court of Appeals recently considered the question of when an insurer’s claim for reimbursement of defense costs is ripe. In Centex Homes v. St. Paul Fire and Marine Ins. Co., 237 Cal.App.4th 23, 187 Cal.Rptr.3d 542 (4th Dist., …

Can an Insurer Seek Reimbursement for Uncovered Defense Costs Directly From Cumis Counsel?

Numerous jurisdictions have recognized an insured’s right to independent counsel where a conflict of interest exists between the insured and the insurance company (Alaska, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New …

10 Potential Pitfalls for Claims Handling in Arizona

Since most insurance companies conduct business in multiple states, they tend to keep track of the general legal do’s and don’ts of claims handling. However, there are a few unique aspects of Arizona insurance law that companies and adjustors should …

Reimbursing Defense Costs Under Alaska Law: A Request for Clarity

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently certified to the Alaska Supreme Court the question of whether an insurance company can seek reimbursement of the costs for independent counsel’s defense of the insured when the insurance …

The Pitfalls of Rejecting a Defense Under Texas ‘Same Facts’ Test

Texas law recognizes that an insurer’s reservation of rights can create a potential conflict of interest. Northern County Mut. Ins. Co. v. Davalos, 140 S.W.3d 685 (Tex. 2004). Although there is a potential for conflict in this situation, the assertion …

Denying Coverage and Reserving Rights Simultaneously

Georgia Supreme Court Says Insurer Can’t Have its Cake and Eat it too Insurance companies were historically faced with a Hobbesian’s choice in deciding to defend their insureds in personal injury actions where there was doubt as to whether the …

Understanding the Right of Reimbursement for Defense Costs When Reserving Rights

When an insurance company defends its insured under a reservation of rights, the question arises as to whether the insurer has a right to seek reimbursement from its insured for payments made toward attorney’s fees and court costs when it …