Travelers Property Casualty Co. of America et al. v. Centex Homes

The tables may be turning. Insurers often seek to avoid their coverage obligations by invoking time limitations in their policies for providing claim notifications. On the other hand, these same insurers routinely take their sweet time in responding to claims, contending that they need time to “investigate” even before making a decision whether or not to provide a defense to a lawsuit, which in most cases simply requires the insurer to review the allegations in the complaint to determine whether there is a potential for coverage under their policies. Once they decide to provide a defense (which in some cases can be weeks if not months after the insured has had to retain its own defense counsel to respond to a suit), insurers claim they have the right to control the insured’s defense, including the selection of defense counsel, and will force the insured to accept new defense counsel that are not up to speed on the case. Not so fast, according to a recent decision from the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.
Continue Reading Insurers Beware: Respond Promptly or Lose the Right to Control the Defense