California Court Affirms Decision Finding Bad Faith Where Insurer Interprets Policy Against Insured's Interests

Posted in: Attorneys Fees, Bad Faith, Commercial General Liability Insurance, Duty to Defend, Insurance Bad Faith, Insurance Litigation Blog, Life Insurance, Punitive Damages October 11, 2017

On August 31, 2017, the California Court of Appeal discussed a variety of topics touching upon important matters in insurance “bad faith” litigation in Pulte Home Corp. v. Am. Safety Indemnity Co., 14 Cal.App.5th 1086 (Aug. 31, 2017). In …

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Insureds May Still Have a Claim for Insurance Bad Faith Even If Their Insurer Offered to Pay the Policy Limits

Posted in: Bad Faith, Case Updates, Commercial General Liability Insurance, Duty to Settle, Insurance Bad Faith, Insurance Litigation Blog December 13, 2016

Under California law, an insurer has an obligation to, among other things, make reasonable efforts to settle a third party’s lawsuit against an insured.  As a recent decision rendered by the California Court of Appeals illustrates, “reasonable efforts” entail more …

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What’s a Policyholder to Do? California Court Permits “Conditional Judgment” Awarding Replacement Cost to Policyholders

Posted in: Breach of Contract, Case Updates, Commercial General Liability Insurance, Insurance Bad Faith, Property & Casualty Insurance December 11, 2014

When a covered property is damaged, the insured may face a quintessential Catch-22—the insured cannot afford to proceed with costly repairs or replacement without insurance money, but until the repairs or replacements are finished, the insured cannot recover under the …

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Insurers Have a Duty to Defend Where a Complaint Could Be Fairly Amended to State a Covered Liability; California Supreme Court Clarifies Duty to Defend Disparagement Claims Under Advertising Injury Coverage

Posted in: Breach of Contract, Case Updates, Commercial General Liability Insurance, Insurance Bad Faith June 20, 2014

An insurer has a duty to defend even if the causes of action in a lawsuit are not expressly covered by a liability policy if the factual allegations may support a potentially covered claim.  This was expansive interpretation of the …

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Expert Testimony Can Help Policyholders Establish Property Damage and Survive Summary Judgment

Posted in: Breach of Contract, Case Updates, Commercial General Liability Insurance, Expert Testimony, Insurance Bad Faith May 22, 2014

Policyholders often face a formidable challenge proving causation on property damage claims, particularly when insurance companies insist on deferring to their own experts and adjustors.  Of course, insurance companies must conduct reasonable investigations and review and evaluate all of the …

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Insurers Have a Duty to Defend at the Outset of Litigation Even If a SIR Has Not Been Exhausted

Posted in: Case Updates, Commercial General Liability Insurance, Duty to Defend, General Liablity, Policy Interpretation October 16, 2013

Insurers providing general liability insurance cannot shirk their duty to defend insureds at the outset of litigation by relying on self-insured retention (SIR) provisions in those policies unless the policies expressly and unambiguously make the insurer’s duty to defend contingent …

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Insurer's General Reservation of Rights Does Not Entitle Insured to Cumis Counsel

Posted in: Commercial General Liability Insurance, Directors & Officers Insurance, Duty to Defend, Policy Interpretation, Property & Casualty Insurance September 05, 2013

In a recent ruling, the California Court of Appeal held that an insurer’s general reservation of rights to deny coverage of damages outside its policy does not create a conflict of interest with the insured, such that the insured in …

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Insurers May Intervene and Assert the Same Rights as Their Insured's to Contest Both Liability and Damages

Posted in: Case Updates, Commercial General Liability Insurance, Duty to Defend, Property & Casualty Insurance October 14, 2011

Under certain circumstances, an insurer has the right to intervene in a case against its insured to protect its own rights and to avoid harm to the insurer.  These circumstances usually involve cases where an insured is either prevented from …

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