Insurers Have No Duty to Defend Insured Absent a Request for Coverage

In general, an insurance company has a duty to defend a policyholder when they are subject to litigation. However, as evidenced by a recent case in the Fifth Circuit, this duty is not unlimited. The policyholder must notify the insurance company of the lawsuit and specifically, request the insurance company defend them in the litigation. If the insured does not ask, the insurance company owes them no duty to defend. One recent defendant in a personal injury lawsuit learned that lesson the hard way. The duty to defend and indemnify must be triggered for it to exist in the first place.

 

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