Bad Faith Insurance Lawyers and The “Duty to Defend:” What You Should Know
The fact of the matter is that individuals need insurance for a variety of circumstances. From protecting our families to protecting our property from the unpredictability of the world, insurance is essential.
But what happens when an insurance company doesn’t follow through with its end of an agreement? This is where bad faith insurance lawyers step in to aid you where the insurance companies do not.
One of the more common occurrences of bad faith is when an insurance company refuses to uphold its “duty to defend.” Let’s explore what this means and how it affects policyholders.
“Duty to Defend:” What It Is and Why It’s Important
The “duty to defend” is a provision included in your insurance policy that outlines the job of the insurance company to defend you against particular types of legal action.
Of course, it’s important to always review your policy and understand what falls under your scope of coverage. However, if a lawsuit is brought against you that lands in this scope, the company is required to deal with the claim.
Here are some examples where this may be the case:
- • Result of a Car Accident – Many of us have made the mistake of unintentionally rear-ending someone or causing some sort of an accident. If your insurance company disputes the amounts of the damage and neither company can negotiate an amount, the other driver may sue. In this instance, your insurance company would be obligated to defend you legally.
- • On the Job Accident – Let’s say you own a business and hire an independent contractor to do some remodeling. Unfortunately, something goes wrong, the contractor is harmed, and brings a suit against you based on employer liability. Your insurance company must help you combat legal action until the matter is resolved.
However, there are instances where your insurer is not required to provide legal counsel, which should be stated in your policy. For example, if you were inebriated when rear-ending someone, the insurance company may refuse to help because you intentionally put yourself under bad circumstances.
The “Duty to Defend” And You
These different factors are all reasons why it’s important to fully understand the “duty to defend” provision of your policy. Seek out the help of Millin and Millin if you get a notice of “insurance claim denied” instead of legal aid. Millin and Millin’s highly knowledgeable bad faith insurance lawyers are ready to get you the legal help you need!