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from our blog


August 26, 2014

Better Health Care Provided to AZ Workers

Recent reports indicate Arizona is one of the best employers concerning employee health benefits to workers. Workers in Arizona pay a smaller share of their overall bill compared to the majority of state workers anywhere else in the country. According to analysts, Arizona regularly conducts surveys to compare their benefits on the national stage. The […]

 

Duty to Defend One Claim Means an Insurer Must Defend Entire Lawsuit in Arizona

When an insurer’s policy requires that it defend the insured for one type of legal claim, Arizona law requires that the insurer defend against all claims in the lawsuit. This is also known as the “in for one in for all rule.” This means that if an individual sues an insured alleging 30 claims, but only one of them is potentially covered by the insured’s policy, the insurer still must provide a legal defense for the entire lawsuit. Although some recent cases have chipped away at this doctrine in other states, it is still currently good law in Arizona.

However, the duty to defend comes with some limitations. First, the duty to defend only arises when there is actual claim pending. The insured should also give the insurer notice of the pleadings that impose the duty to defend.  The insurer has a right to reasonably investigate the complaint to determine whether it actually has a duty to defend. Although the policy language is the most useful tool in determining whether the duty to defend exists, Arizona follows the reasonable expectation doctrine and in some cases, evidence outside of the insurance policy can be used to prove that a duty to defend exists.

Additionally, the duty to defend generally allows the insurer the right to choose defense counsel. However, in some cases, a conflict of interest can arise between the insured and insurer. If a conflict of interest exists, the insurer may lose the right to choose the defense counsel and still must pay the defense costs.

 

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  • Shane Harward Law Offices of Shane L. Harward PLC

    10575 North 114th Street
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