Regarding OCGA 33-3-28, if no actual legal action or clams has been initiated must malpractice insurance info be provided?

Asked 5 months ago - Marietta, GA

I am an office manager for a medical practice. We received a letter from an attorney on behalf of a patient who was seen once for mental health/addiction issues and was never heard from again.

The letter states his client wishes to pursue possible legal action and that pursuant to OCGA 33-3-28 the doctors malpractice policy information including liability limits must be provided. It's very suspicious that the attorney wants to know how much insurance coverage there is when NO legal action whatsoever has taken place.

Must the insurance information be provided to the attorney, when no case, claims, or court actions have occurred or even been initiated?

Attorney answers (6)

  1. Glen Edward Ashman

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I'm stunned. Why have you not called your malpractice insurer, who may refuse to defend you when you hide this? Do what they suggest. The internet is not a substitute for reporting.

    If you find this answer helpful, please mark it here on AVVO as helpful. In answering you, I am attempting to... more
  2. Scott Benjamin Riddle

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Contact your insurer for guidance, and do NOT contact other law firms to represent you until and unless you speak with the insurer. Most likely they will provide a defense.

  3. Lisa Morgan Edwards

    Contributor Level 11

    Answered . If the request was sent certified mail and was accompanied by an affidavit of the complainant, yes you must provide a copy of the declarations page showing how much insurance coverage is available, or turn it over to your carrier for them to provide a copy.

  4. Matthew Chase Swanson

    Pro

    Contributor Level 13

    Answered . This statute requires insureds to provide the name of each insurer which may provide coverage for a particular claim within 30 days of receiving a written request. While you may have some hesitation in providing the information, the last thing you want to have happen is the attorney to file a claim against your practice and then your insurer deny providing you an attorney or coverage because you failed to provide them with notice of the claim. So, yes the statute requires you to provide the information. At the very least, you should probably let your insurer know of the situation and let them handle it.

  5. Jeffrey Parker Shiver

    Pro

    Contributor Level 5

    Answered . The insurer has to provide the limits. The insured has to provide the name of the insurance carrier. Call Jeff Peters and Peters & Monyak law firm. They are a highly respected medical malpractice defense firm.

  6. David W. Hibbert

    Contributor Level 8

    Answered . No, a legal action does not have to be initiated or filed before such a request is made. Many cases are resolved prior to suit being filed between the claimant and the insurer, thus saving litigation costs for all parties involved. The insurance policy usually requires notice of potential claims as a condition precedent to coverage, thus notifying your carrier of the request may be in your best interest. Your insurer mat wish to deal with this directly and you will have a duty to cooperate under most if not all insurance policies.

    O.C.G.A. 33-3-28 . Request by claimant for information as to name of insurer, name of each insured, and limits of coverage

    (a) (1) Every insurer providing liability or casualty insurance coverage in this state and which is or may be liable to pay all or a part of any claim shall provide, within 60 days of receiving a written request from the claimant, a statement, under oath, of a corporate officer or the insurer's claims manager stating with regard to each known policy of insurance issued by it, including excess or umbrella insurance, the name of the insurer, the name of each insured, and the limits of coverage. Such insurer may provide a copy of the declaration page of each such policy in lieu of providing such information. The claimant's request shall set forth under oath the specific nature of the claim asserted and shall be mailed to the insurer by certified mail or statutory overnight delivery.
    (2) The insured, within 30 days of receiving a written request from a claimant or the claimant's attorney, shall disclose to the claimant or his attorney the name of each known insurer which may be liable to the claimant upon such claim.

    (b) If the request provided in subsection (a) of this Code section contains information insufficient to allow compliance, the insurer or insured upon whom the request was made may so state in writing, stating specifically what additional information is needed, and such compliance shall constitute compliance with this Code section.

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