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It is very important to evaluate whether insurance will be available for any person who has been sued or is considering filing a lawsuit. Insurance may provide a fund to protect a defendant in a lawsuit against the costs, expenses and attorneys fees of litigation, as well as to fund a settlement or judgment. Similarly, insurance may mean the difference between a defendant who has resources to defend and satisfy the claim and one who does not.
Insurance policies take many forms and have myriad coverages that protect against a wide range of losses. For example, first party insurance (including automobile liability and homeowner’s insurance) typically covers the insured person for damage to the property the insured person owns. In contrast, third-party insurance (such as comprehensive general liability policies) protect the insured person against liability for damage that other people sustain as a result of the insured’s conduct, but only if that conduct falls within the specified policy coverages. Most third-party coverage policies not only pay the amount of a settlement or judgment that the insured person ultimately becomes liable to pay for a covered claim, but also pay to defend the insured person against a claim that is potentially covered. Further, depending upon the type of policy at issue and its particular terms, the costs of the defense may or may not reduce the amount of insurance available to pay for settlements or judgments. For instance, many professional liability policies, like the ones design professionals obtain, provide that the amount paid to counsel in defense of the claim reduce the policy limits. This means that each defense dollar reduces the dollars remaining on the policy that are available to defend the case as well as to pay any judgment or settlement at the end of the case. Finally, insurance policies often contain conditions that the insured person must honor in order to obtain coverage, such as providing timely notice of a loss or claim for which insurance coverage is sought. Failure to comply with these conditions could result in the forfeiture of coverage.v As such, it is never too early to evaluate insurance related issues.
The Howard Law Firm llc has extensive insurance experience, including performing comprehensive coverage analyses for insurance companies and policyholders, as well as successfully defending and prosecuting declaratory judgement actions for the purpose of defining the parties’ rights and responsibilities under an insurance policy. If you have been sued by another person, if you have sustained a loss that you believe may be covered, or if you question whether coverage exists for a claim, The Howard Law Firm llc can help you. Please call us today for a free consultation.