California Court of Appeal Emphasizes Just How Broad the Duty to Defend Is, which Includes Suits Alleging Even Rape

Posted in: Case Updates, Disability Insurance, Disability Insurance News, Duty to Defend, Excess Insurance, Homeowners Insurance, Insurance Litigation Blog April 01, 2015

A liability insurer’s duty to defend its insured against lawsuits is extremely broad, much broader than its duty to indemnify its insured for a judgment entered against it.  That has been the law in California for decades.  But just how broad is the duty to defend?  Does it extend to civil lawsuits alleging the insured raped and sexually assaulted the plaintiff?  Does it extend to lawsuits alleging intentional acts by the insured?  You bet it does if the policy contains the right language.…

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Excess Insurer v. Agent - No Right of Equitable Subrogation Under California Law

Posted in: Agent/Broker, Excess Insurance, General Liablity January 18, 2011

danger_bulls.jpgDelving into the sometimes arcane metes and bounds between insurers’ rights of equitable subrogation and equitable contribution, a California appellate court recently denied an excess insurer’s right to bring an equitable subrogation action against its insured’s agent for failing to renew another excess insurer’s policy that would have covered the same underlying bodily injury risk.  The appellate court expanded on the trial court’s reasoning, and concluded that the excess insurer could not establish at least two necessary elements of an action for equitable subrogation, and could not show that it had paid more than its fair share under the doctrine of equitable contribution.   James Dobbas, et al. v. Fred Vitas, et al., 2011 Cal. App. LEXIS 15 (January …

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