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We Know How to Make Insurers Defend Their Insureds

Most people know that an insurance company must reimburse (indemnify) them if a covered claim is presented against them. But most people do not realize the other corresponding duty that a liability insurance policy imposes on the carrier — the duty to defend its insured.

The duty to defend can be more valuable than the duty to indemnify since the cost of defense, especially in complicated business cases, may exceed the verdict. Insurers know this, and do their best to skirt the duty to defend whenever they can. They issue reservation of rights letters that set forth the reasons for their refusal, and, if unchallenged, the insurer's disregard of its duty to defend can have a significant detrimental effect on an insured's ability to continue the litigation.

How many people or companies have unlimited funds to pay defense costs, even when their position is justifiable?

Rutter & Russin knows how to make insurers live up to their responsibility to defend their insureds.

In addition to the cases we have successfully handled, Bob Rutter has lectured about the duty to defend, and written an article entitled "A Lamb in Wolf's Clothing: The Insurer's Duty to Defend Business Torts."

Since the passage of Ohio’s latest intentional tort statute, insurers have routinely denied both a defense and indemnity to insureds under standard CGL and EPL policies. This case was slightly different since the policy provided a small sub-limit for the defense of employee intentional tort cases, but no duty to pay any settlement or judgment. The employee alleged that the employer had removed a guard from a machine, leading to the partial amputation of the employee’s hand. The employer sympathized with its long-time employee, and even offered to hire him back at a different job, but there was too much animosity and distrust. We got involved and worked with all three sides – employee’s counsel, employer’s personal counsel, and insurer’s counsel – to effectuate a settlement.


If your insurance company is disregarding its duty to defend you need experienced legal help. Rutter & Russin's attorneys have successfully handled numerous duty to defend cases and lectured and written extensively on the topic. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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