Duty to Defend

Orange County Insurance Coverage and “Duty to Defend” Attorney

Duty to DefendOne of the most important aspects of an insurance policy, whether a Commercial General Liability policy, a D&O policy, an EPLI policy, or even an Auto policy, is the obligation of an insurance company to provide you or your business with a paid-for lawyer in the event that you or your business is sued.  You, individually, or your business, depend upon insurance to protect you against any lawsuit.  Defending a lawsuit is very expensive, and without help from your insurance company, many individuals and businesses cannot afford to hire a lawyer to defend.

In California, the law is very broad, and very clear: An insurer must defend its insured against claims that create a potential for indemnity under the policy. Montrose Chemical Corp. v. Superior Court, 6 Cal.4th 287, 295 (1993) (Montrose); Gray v. Zurich Ins. Co., 65 Cal.2d 263, 275 (1966) (Gray).  This means that if there is any potential for coverage whatsoever, the insurance company must provide you a paid for attorney to defend you or your business.

However, often the response by the insurance company is to find a way to deny your claim, and deny its obligation to provide you with a paid for attorney.  The result is that you will have to find and pay for your own lawyer, which is either cost prohibitive, and can result in a catastrophic loss to your business.

Your insurance company will often interpret coverage narrowly to avoid providing you a lawyer.  Or the insurer could simply be wrong in its analysis. In this event, you need a insurance coverage or “duty to defend” attorney to represent your interests in fighting the insurance company and getting your coverage, and a paid for attorney to represent your interests.

If you have recently made a claim and the insurance company has refused to defend, or provide a paid for attorney, Winthrop Law Group, P.C. are coverage and “duty to defend” attorneys able to evaluate all coverage issues, and respond to the insurance company in kind, and will fight the insurance company to get you and/or your business a defense.