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Insurance Duty to Defend Cases By Accident Attorney

This page within Virginia Tort Case Law is a compilation of cases reported by the Virginia Supreme Court and summarized by Brien Roche dealing with the topic of Insurance Duty to Defend and the related topic of personal injury. For more information about insurance see the pages on Wikipedia.  

Insurance Duty To Defend-Cases

1996 VEPCO v. Northbrook Property & Cas. Ins., 252 Va. 265, 475 S.E.2d 264. 

VEPCO entered into contract with courier service to provide courier services to VEPCO. Courier service required to obtain liability policy covering VEPCO as to liability claims arising from their drivers. Courier employee was injured on VEPCO premises and filed liability claim against VEPCO. Even though VEPCO may have been statutory employer of courier, this did not make plaintiff an employee for purposes of exclusion of liability coverage and duty to defend under liability policy. As such, duty to defend exists as to Northbrook. 

1994 Carstensen v. Chrisland Corp., 247 Va. 433, 442 S.E.2d 660. 

Duty to defend is broader than duty to pay. In this instance however, court concluded there was no coverage and as such no duty to defend. 

1988 U.S. Fire Ins. Co. v. Aspen Bldg. Corp., 235 Va. 263, 367 S.E.2d 478. 

Excess carrier agreed to defend and indemnify as to claim over $100,000. It turned out primary coverage was only $50,000. Amounts claimed were in excess of $100,000. Excess carrier refused to defend. Such refusal is done at carrier’s own risk. Final judgment was entered for $85,000. Therefore, excess carrier not obliged to defend or indemnify. 

1981 Parker v. Hartford Fire Ins. Co., 222 Va. 33, 278 S.E.2d 803. 

When initial pleading alleges facts and circumstances, some of which would, if proved, fall within risk covered by policy, insurance company is obliged to defend its insured. Claim for trespass triggered insurance duty to defend. 

1978 Lerner v. General Ins. Co., 219 Va. 101, 245 S.E.2d 249. 

Obligation to defend is broader than obligation to pay, and arises whenever complaint alleges facts and circumstances, some of which would, if proved, fall within risk covered by policy. 

1978 Travelers Indem. Co. v. Obenshain, 219 Va. 44, 245 S.E.2d 247. 

Allegations in motions for judgment recite intended torts which are expressly excluded in policy issued by Travelers. Insurance company had no duty to defend insured or to pay any judgment based upon these allegations. 

1978 United Servs. v. Nationwide Mut., 218 Va. 861, 241 S.E.2d 784. 

Liability carrier has duty to defend and to exercise good faith to settle meritorious claims within policy limits, undertaking which is not required of uninsured motorist carrier. 

1978 Norman v. INA, 218 Va. 718, 239 S.E.2d 902. 

Insurance duty to defend is determined by allegations in pleadings, yet if these allegations leave in doubt whether case is covered by policy, then refusal to defend is at company’s own risk. Intended assault and battery cannot be turned into accident by mere statement from person making assault that he did not intend act or its consequences. 

1958 Cooper v. Employer’s Mut. Liab. Ins. Co., 199 Va. 908, 103 S.E.2d 210. 

When carrier undertakes defense of insured under reservation of rights, such does not constitute waiver of any policy defenses. 

1955 Andrews v. Cahoon, 196 Va. 790, 86 S.E.2d 173. 

Insurance company liable for attorney fees in defense of action where insurance company breached its insurance duty to defend. 

1948 London Guar. Co. v. Mite, 188 V a. 195, 49 S.E.2d 254. 

No insurance duty to defend if insurer would not be bound to indemnify insured in action if plaintiff prevailed. If there is some doubt as to coverage then insurer denies coverage at its own risk.


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Insurance Duty to Defend Cases By Accident Attorney

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