Understanding Insurer’s Duty to Settle: Practical Tips to Avoid Bad Faith Claims
An insurer’s ability to refuse a settlement case is only limited on account to its duty to act in good faith. Instead, they owe its policyholder a duty to settle if, and only if, the policyholder’s settlement amount is within the limit of the insurer's policy.
However, if an insurer refused to accept an offer of reasonable settlement from an injured party due to exceeding policy limits, insurance companies might be in the midst of exposure in a bad faith claims liability.
It is therefore imperative that companies who are prone to this kind of situation to remain proactive in devising an effective and advance practices on how to handle insurance claimants in order to avoid exposure to bad faith claims.
In this LIVE webcast, insurance attorneys Michelle Burton (Shoecraft Burton) and Hugh Hughes (Saxe Doernberger & Vita) will help insurance companies understand the important aspects of the insurer's duty of settlement. As experts, they will also offer best practices in developing and implementing effective practices in mitigating risks and avoiding potential exposure to bad faith claims.
Some of the major topics that will be covered in this course are:
- An Overview of the Insurers Duty to Settle
- Recent Trends and Developments
- Notable Court Rulings
- Common Risks and Pitfalls
- Practical Tips and Best Practices
- What Lies Ahead
Michelle Burton, Managing Partner
Shoecraft Burton, LLP
- Good Faith v Bad Faith
- Triggering the Duty to Defend
- The Scope of the Duty to Defend
- Duty to Accept Reasonable Settlement
Hugh D. Hughes, Attorney
Saxe Doernberger & Vita, P.C.
- First Party versus Third Party Bad Faith
- Duty to negotiate
- Duty to settle
- Consequences of not defending.
Michelle Burton is the Managing Partner of Shoecraft ♦ Burton LLP, a boutique civil litigation firm specializing in complex insurance coverage, bad faith defense, insurance defense, professional liability, and regulatory compliance. Ms. Burton has obtained numerous jury trial defense verdicts for her clients against multi-million dollar claims throughout California. In addition to her trial practice, Ms. Burton is a Certified Appellate Specialist and has authored and argued numerous appeals addressing insurance-related matters including the leading case on rescission in California.
She has served as the President of the San Diego Chapter of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers (2018) and has been recognized as a Lawyer of Distinction in Civil Litigation (2015-2020), Super Lawyer (2018-2020), Avvo Top-Rated Lawyer (2018) and in Lawyer Monthly’s Women in Law Awards (2018). She is also a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, an honor open to only one percent of lawyers, for her commitment to the legal profession and her community.
Michelle Burton is the Managing Partner of Shoecraft ♦ Burton LLP, a boutique civil litigation firm specializing in complex insurance …
Hugh D. Hughes brings to SDV a wealth of experience in complex litigation including a successful appellate practice, having argued a wide variety of issues before the Connecticut Appellate and Supreme Courts. Hugh has had nearly 30 reported appellate decisions in Connecticut, earning him a Super Lawyers’ designation in appellate work each year since 2015.
Hugh’s concentration in insurance law makes him an outstanding addition to our team. His representation of clients includes coverage issues involving builder’s risk, property and casualty and employment liability policies. Hugh also has expertise in workers’ compensation coverage for negligent assault and battery as well as UM/UIM and CUTPA claims. Hugh is on the Executive Committee of, and is a Legislative Liaison for, the Insurance Law Section of the Connecticut Bar Association, a role which allows him to stay abreast of legislation concerning insurance law in the state.
While in law school, Hugh was a member of the Connecticut Law Review. Upon graduation, he spent a year as a Law Clerk to Justice Francis McDonald, a future Chief Justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court.
Hugh D. Hughes brings to SDV a wealth of experience in complex litigation including a successful appellate practice, having argued …
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Method Of Presentation:
General knowledge in insurance law
NY Category of CLE Credit:
Areas of Professional Practice
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About Shoecraft Burton, LLP
Shoecraft ♦ Burton, LLP is a multi-practice boutique civil litigation firm that provides proactive, cost-conscious and aggressive legal services tailored to its clients’ goals. The firm practices throughout California and its lawyers are not just litigation specialists but litigation strategists experienced in all aspects of litigation and the appellate process. Shoecraft ♦ Burton, LLP lawyers possess an unmatched ability to anticipate legal hurdles upfront and design a litigation plan to overcome them as they successfully maneuver through the pitfalls of litigation.
About Saxe Doernberger & Vita, P.C.
Saxe Doernberger & Vita, P.C., is a national insurance coverage law firm focused exclusively on representing corporate policyholders. Our experienced trial lawyers are admitted in courts across the country and represent clients in multiple industries including construction, power and energy, real estate, and more. At its core, SDV’s practice is about the prevention and resolution of insurance disputes—we partner with risk managers, CFOs, in-house counsel, and other corporate leaders to resolve conflicts quickly and effectively.
With a seasoned legal team, we advocate across the nation to resolve disputes with insurers on all lines of coverage, including general and professional liability, commercial property, business interruption, directors and officers, and pollution coverage. We are skilled in maximizing insurance coverage, reducing risk transfer costs, and developing cutting-edge corporate risk transfer solutions for our clients. SDV also brings real-time knowledge and experience to the art of improving our clients’ contractual insurance and indemnity forms.
At SDV, we take the responsibility of advocating for our clients seriously. We continue to build on our venerable reputation of achieving maximum results by pursuing the most advantageous course of action for each client. We know the intricacies of insurance law, and we are determined to consistently win outstanding recoveries that hold insurance companies accountable.