Frequently Asked Questions about Insurance Defense
Jones, Flygare, Brown & Wharton, P.C. is an established insurance defense law firm serving Lubbock, Texas and surrounding areas. The firm represents clients throughout West Texas, including Lubbock and the surrounding counties, extending to the Permian Basin, Midland-Odessa/San Angelo areas, and including all of the Panhandle of Texas. In addition, individual members of the firm are licensed to practice in New Mexico and Oklahoma. The firm wishes to help clients by providing answers to common legal questions they may have about insurance defense.
- What law governs insurance companies?
- How do states limit insurance company business practices?
- When an insurer is providing a defense under a reservation of rights, is the insurer required to hire separate counsel?
- What are the potential consequences of an insurer's failure to hire separate counsel?
- How do courts interpret insurance policy language?
- When is the duty to defend activated?
- What are the issues that may be resolved by filing a suit for a declaratory judgment?
- Are attorney's fees awarded in a declaratory judgment action?
Contact the West Texas lawyers known for trying complex cases
Contact the Lubbock office of Jones, Flygare, Brown & Wharton, P.C. for assistance with your insurance defense issues. The attorneys can be reached by phone at 806-765-8851, or contacted online by filling out the intake form on this site.
The office is located across the street from the Lubbock Civic Center, a few blocks from the Lubbock Courthouse. The attorneys work flexible hours by appointment.
What law governs insurance companies?
U.S. insurance companies are primarily governed by state law. State governments usually have a regulatory agency charged with overseeing insurance companies incorporated or licensed to do business within the state. A commissioner heads this agency.
How do states limit insurance company business practices?
States are the primary regulators, and their limitations are typically statutory. A state may limit most aspects of the industry, including rate making, marketing, underwriting, and the insurance company's ability to cancel a policy.
When an insurer is providing a defense under a reservation of rights, is the insurer required to hire separate counsel?
Depending on the jurisdiction and circumstances of a particular case, an insurer providing a defense under a reservation of rights may be required to hire separate counsel.
What are the potential consequences of an insurer's failure to hire separate counsel?
If an insurer is required to hire separate counsel because of the laws of a particular jurisdiction, the circumstances of a particular case or both, and the insurer fails to engage separate counsel, allegations of bad faith may result.
How do courts interpret insurance policy language?
Insurance policies are contracts, and the interpretation of insurance policies is largely a matter of state contract law. Therefore, the interpretation and nature of an insurance policy can vary by jurisdiction.
When is the duty to defend activated?
In general, the duty to defend is not activated until a cause of action arising out of a covered event or occurrence is instituted against the insured. However, depending on the jurisdiction or the types of events covered under the policy, other types of events may activate the duty to defend.
What are the issues that may be resolved by filing a suit for a declaratory judgment?
A declaratory judgment suit may determine the insurer's duty to provide a defense and the extent of coverage under a particular policy. However, the issues that may be decided by a declaratory judgment action vary by jurisdiction.
Are attorney's fees awarded in a declaratory judgment action?
Attorney's fees are not typically awarded to the prevailing party in a declaratory judgment action. However, this varies by jurisdiction and individual circumstances.