reservation of rights News

Nevada Supreme: Insurer Entitled to Reimbursement for Defense Costs if No Coverage Owed

An insurer that paid to defend a policyholder against a lawsuit, but determined later that no coverage was owed, is entitled to reimbursement for its costs, a divided Nevada Supreme Court said. In a 4-3 decision on Thursday, the high …

Controlling the Defense in Massachusetts

In One Beacon America Insurance Co. v. Celanese Corp., 94 Mass. App. Ct. 382, 84 N.E.3d 867 (Mass. App. 2017), the Massachusetts Court of Appeals held that insurance companies have the right to control the defense of the insured after …

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 …