Strategies, Challenges, and Answers

The Duty To Defend Continues Through The Entire Litigation

Once the duty to defend arises, the insurer's duty continues throughout the entire litigation.  United Nat'l Ins. Co. v. Frontier Ins. Co., 120 Nev. 678, 687, 99 P.3d 1153, 1158 (Nev. 2004).  The duty to defend continues until final resolution of the claim.  Allstate Ins. Co. v. Miller, 125 Nev. 300, 309, 212 P.3d 318, 325 (2009).  An insurance company may not terminate its duty to defend by depositing the insurance proceeds with the court when the policy terms are ambiguous as to whether the … [Read more...]

An Insured Can Seek A Broad Range Of Damages If An Insurer Wrongfully Fails To Defend

In Nevada, if an insurance company breaches its duty to defend, it can expect to face a wide array of possible damages If the insured takes up its own defense, the insurer can expect to pay the reasonable costs incurred by the insurer in the defense of the underlying action.  Jaynes Corp. v. Am. Safety Indem. Co., 925 F. Supp. 2d 1095, 1111 (D. Nev. 2012) vacated due to settlement, No. 2:10-CV-00764-MMD, 2014 WL 8735102 (D. Nev. Dec. 3, 2014); see also Reyburn Lawn & Landscape Designers … [Read more...]

When Will Nevada Allow An Insurer The Right Of Recoupment?

We know that the duty to defend is broader than the duty to indemnify.  Benchmark Ins. Co. v. Sparks, 254 P.3d 617, 620-21 (2011). We also know that once the duty to defend kicks in on one claim, the insurance company is obliged to defend the insured on all claims raised in the Complaint. Jaynes Corp. v. Am. Safety Indem. Co., 925 F. Supp. 2d 1095, 1103 (D. Nev., 2012) vacated due to settlement, No. 2:10-CV-00764-MMD, 2014 WL 8735102 (D. Nev. Dec. 3, 2014)   A common example is the case where a … [Read more...]

Does An Insurer Have A Duty To Defend When Other Insurers Have Already Taken Up The Defense?

The Nevada Supreme Court has not decided whether an insurance company is obliged to defend when other insurers, who also owe a duty to defend the same insured, have already taken up the defense..  The cases of Commercial Standard Ins. Co. v. Tab Constr., Inc., 94 Nev. 536, 539, 583 P.2d 449, 451 (1978) and Zurich Am. Ins. Co., 720 F. Supp. 2d 1223, 1234 n. 11 (2010) remind us that where Nevada law is silent, Nevada often looks to California law for direction. California law provides that even … [Read more...]

Settlement, Unsettled

The claimant’s counsel makes a policy limit demand. After receiving authority to settle for the liability limits, you tender the policy limit and your company’s standard Release.  Claimant’s counsel rejects the Release.  Instead, counsel insists on a Covenant Not to Execute.  Why would the attorney do that? This post will hopefully give you more information regarding the distinctions between these two types of settlement documents and the advantages and disadvantages of each. What is the … [Read more...]