What Does an 'Exceedingly Broad' Duty to Defend Mean in 2022?

New York Law Journal

PUBLISHED ON: December 21, 2022

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The law in most jurisdictions, including New York, is that an insurance company’s duty to help and defend its policyholder is “exceedingly broad.” This article discusses what “exceedingly broad” means today by highlighting two recent cases: 'Aspen Specialty Ins. Co. v. NCMIC Risk Retention Group' and 'Stoncor Group v. Peerless Ins. Co.', which provide a helpful barometer for policyholders.

When policyholders get sued, insurance companies are supposed to step in to help and defend. An insurance company’s duty to help and defend its policyholder is “exceedingly broad.” That has been the law in New York and in most, if not every, jurisdiction in the United States for decades. But what does “exceedingly broad” mean in 2022? Two recent cases provide a helpful barometer for policyholders.

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Bruce Strong is a shareholder in the New York and Philadelphia offices of Anderson Kill P.C.   Earl A. Kirkland in an attorney in the firm’s New York and Washington, D.C. offices. Both are members of the insurance recovery practice.