Agent/Broker Liability Claims
Insurance brokers and agents act as intermediaries between insurers and individuals/businesses seeking to purchase insurance policies. “Agents” sell insurance policies on behalf of one or more insurers, and accordingly have the power to bind these insurers on coverage and other matters. In certain cases, such as policies involving the sale of disability or life insurance, insurers are required to appoint agents as their own agents for a particular insurance transaction. On the other hand, “brokers” are typically independent contractors who represent individuals/businesses, and absent special circumstances, do not have the power to bind insurers. Despite this difference, agents and brokers perform very similar roles—selling insurance policies and earning commissions based on the policies sold. Often, they can be characterized as having a “dual agency” in which case this status will likely mean that a “broker” may also bind an insurance company by his or her actions. In insurance litigation, binding the insurer and making it responsible for the “broker’s” or “agent’s” actions may mean the difference between winning or losing your case and getting your insurance benefits. Further, an agent’s/broker’s compensation structure provides incentive for the agent/broker to steer you toward certain policies on which they earn higher commissions, which may or may not be appropriate. Agents and brokers only have liability in certain limited circumstances so you will need an experienced attorney to determine whether an agent or broker and his or her insurer has potential liability.
Recovery for Agent/Broker Liability
Insurance agents and brokers are often sued in cases involving all types of insurance disputes. These cases also involve assessment of errors and omissions insurance in which agents and brokers are insured. If an agent promised a particular coverage, omitted the coverage you requested or added additional coverage you did not need so as to generate more commission, the agent may be liable for negligence or fraud. In some cases, the insurer may be estopped from denying coverage based on the agent’s representations. Moreover, many times when an insurer’s wrongful conduct is at issue, brokers or agents are also responsible. This area of the law and these relationships are complex and a thorough understanding of them is important. Attorneys experienced in insurance law can help determine whether an agent/broker is liable and whether the errors/omissions are attributable to the insurer.
Agent/Broker Liability Experience
McKennon Law Group PC specializes in litigating and resolving disputes involving insurance agents/brokers on behalf of individual and business policyholders and on behalf of agents or brokers who have been sued. We have litigated and been consulted on hundreds of agent/broker liability, ERISA insurance, disability insurance, life insurance, health insurance, bad faith and other insurance matters. Because of our aggressive advocacy and our regional and national reputation as a leading insurance litigation firm, we are able to achieve maximum settlements and judgments/verdicts at trial. In cases where we represent agents or brokers, we are able to successfully defend them.
We have been litigating agent/broker liability, ERISA insurance, disability insurance, life insurance, health insurance, bad faith and other insurance matters since 1986. Our attorneys are nationally recognized experts in insurance bad faith litigation and have chaired numerous seminars and written numerous articles dealing with insurance agent and broker issues. Our attorneys are top rated by all major peer review rating agencies and have been honored to receive numerous prestigious recognitions. No attorneys in California or anywhere in the United States are better suited to litigate your insurance claims. In fact, the attorneys of the McKennon Law Group PC previously represented the insurance companies that denied such claims, and thus have the broadest possible experience in litigating these types of insurance disputes. We can and will aggressively litigate your case to achieve maximum success. We have significant trial experience and we are not afraid to go to trial against the big insurance companies.
Contact us to schedule a free initial consultation regarding your agent/broker liability claim.