When James W. Marshall found gold in 1848 in California, over 300,000 prospectors migrated to California to take part in the new financial economy. The Oregon gold rush started a few years later at Josephine Creek, and a smaller rush happened in Washington State in the early 1880s starting at Swauk Creek. As a result of this influx of prospectors to the gold-rich West Coast, and the high risk/high reward nature of the business, appetite for risk in the region increased dramatically. Prospectors knew that it was a big risk to get a big reward.
This appetite for risk continues to this day in the realm of third-party liability coverage. When you purchase a general liability policy, the insurer agrees that it will pay any covered settlement or judgment up to the “policy limits,” an amount negotiated when the policy is purchased. But the insurance policy does not typically require an insurer to settle a case before trial. Courts have changed that.Continue Reading The Gold Rush – Risks and Rewards When an Insurer Prospects for a Defense Verdict