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This question involves an insurance companies duty to defend.

Centennial, CO |

If a complaint is amended to exclude initial claims which are not covered under and insured's policy, such as a negligence resulting in injury, does the insurance company still have a duty to defend? In my prior question, I asked why they would still be defending the insured from breach of contract claims which are clearly not covered by any insurance policy i was told that the duty to defend is broader than the duty to indemnify and they can't just drop the defense in the middle of a lawsuit. This makes sense but the case is in it's early stages, not even a trial date or mediation yet. So the insurance company has a clear way out of paying for this defense? What would cause them to keep defending them now that they no there are no longer any covered claims remaining, can I stop this?

Attorney Answers 5

  1. Yes, the insurance company still does have a duty to defend if they were initially drawn into the case You have NO control whatsoever about whether the insurance company represents the defendant. That is an issue solely between the insured and the insurance company and you do not have standing or a say in their relationship. So, you can't stop it whatsoever.

    The information provided in this answer does not create an attorney-client relationship and is not considered to be legal advice. Mr. Leroi answers questions on Avvo because he strongly believes in public service from his years as a judge, magistrate, and prosecutor. If you need to ask any follow up questions because my answer did not fully address your question, feel free to call Chris or post an additional question. Thank you.

  2. It doesn't matter where you are in the litigation. The insurance company decided to defend..they are defending. It's a contractual obligation between the insured and his insurance company. It really doesn't have anything to do with you and you have no grounds to do anything. You are not a party of their agreement.

  3. Mr. Leroi is right. You have no control over whether the insurance company represents the defendant and really it shouldn't matter to you because your obligation and burdens are the same regardless of whether the opposing party has an insurance company defending them or not. As a general note, the failure to defend when the duty is triggered can create huge problems for the insurance company - most don't take chances with it.

  4. They have duty to defend, and you have no control

  5. The insurance company's obligation to defend depends on the nature of the contract between the insured and the insurance company. In some circumstances, the insurance company will evaluate and defend an action without accepting their responsibility to pay the claim in the event a judgment enters against their insured. This is called a reservation of rights; essentially to defend but not pay.

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