Bad Faith Claims When Verdicts Exceed Policy Limits: Navigating Nuances of the Insurance Company’s Duty to Settle

  • Organizer: Strafford
  • Date: January 25, 2018

Policyholders and insurance companies often disagree during settlement negotiations involving underlying claims.  When an insurance company fails to accept a reasonable settlement offered by an injured party, and the ultimate verdict exceeds policy limits, the insured may face personal liability.  The insurance company faces a separate risk-exposure to bad faith claims and liabilities for the entire amount of the judgment.

Navigating these scenarios requires a detailed understanding of the scope of the duty to settlement.  Counsel must understand tactics commonly used and options available to each side.  Though an insurance company may be justified in rejecting a settlement demand, the policyholder may settle without its insurance company’s consent and sue the insurance company for bad faith.

Our panel will provide counsel with a review of the rights and obligations of the policyholder and the insurance company regarding settlement, the insurer’s liability for verdicts in excess of policy limits, actions insurance companies can take to reduce exposure to bad faith claims, and options for policyholders if the insurer rejects a settlement demand.

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