Strategies, Challenges, and Answers

Disclosing Policy Limits

Many auto bodily injury adjusters ask, “Do I have to disclose my insured’s policy limit?”

1074578_its_a_secret_Keep in mind that after suit is filed, the carrier must produce “[f]or inspection and copying as under Rule 34 any insurance agreement under which any person carrying on an insurance business may be liable to satisfy part or all of a judgment which may be entered in the action or to indemnify or reimburse for payments made to satisfy the judgment and any disclaimer or limitation of coverage or reservation of rights under any such insurance agreement.” Nevada Rule of Civil Procedure 16.1 (a)(1)(D).  In other words, once suit is filed, you have no choice but to make available a copy of the declaration sheet and the policy.  But does this same rule apply before suit is filed? The answer to that question is, “It depends.”  

N.R.S. 690B.042 (3) says that the insurer shall, upon request, immediately disclose to the insured or the claimant all pertinent facts or provisions of the policy relating to any coverage at issue.  However, this forced disclosure statute applies only to “insurance covering a private passenger car.” My clients who own commercial vehicles are always glad to learn of this exception.  Even so, automobile claimants don’t get this insurance information just by asking for it. They have to make certain disclosures to qualify to receive the information. The claimant must either provide the carrier with copies of medical reports, records and bills and update those disclosures every 90 days, or, in the alternative, the claimant must give the carrier a release for medical reports, records and bills. Copies of documents gathered by the carrier must be provided to the claimant within 30 days of their receipt, and the claimant is to pay the cost of the copies. 

Plaintiffs’ attorneys are familiar with the statute and know how to force a disclosure of the policy limits. Don’t be surprised when they try to use it on you. 

About Michael Mills

Mr. Mills practices in the area of civil litigation and appeals, with particular experience in matters involving trucking liability, insurance defense, insurance coverage, premises liability, products liability and defense of personal injury. Mr. Mills is a member of the Trucking Insurance Defense Association, the Defense Research Institute Trucking Committee and the Nevada Motor Transport Association. Mr. Mills is licensed to practice before the Nevada Supreme Court and the Utah Supreme Court. He is also licensed to appear before the United States Supreme Court, the U.S. District Courts for the Districts of Nevada and Utah, as well as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Mr. Mills has created 3 Blogs for the benefit of the insurance industry. He serves as editor and publisher of the Nevada Insurance Law Blog, the Nevada Coverage and Bad Faith Blog and the Nevada Trucking Law Blog.

Find Mike Mills on Google+