What Is The Time for Responding to a Defense Tender?
An insurer has 10 working days to acknowledge the receipt of a claim. Mo. Code Regs. Ann. tit., 20 § 100-1.030
An insurer must accept or deny a claim within 15 working days after submission of all forms necessary to establish the nature and extent of any claim.. Mo. Code Regs. Ann. tit., 20 § 100-1.050
Does Reserving Rights Create a Conflict of Interest?
When insurer reserves its rights, a conflict may arise. Howard v. Russell Stover Candies, Inc., 649 F.2d 620, 625 (Mo. 8th Cir. 1981).
Does a Reservation of Rights Create Additional Duties?
What Must Be Done If A Conflict of Interest Exists?
An insurer cannot force an insured to accept a reservation of rights defense. Ballmer v. Ballmer, 923 S.W.2d 365, 369 (Mo. App. W.D. 1996).
An insured has the right to reject a reservation of rights defense because of the potential conflict of interest between the insurer and the insured. State ex rel. Rimco, Inc. v. Dowd, 858 S.W.2d 307, 308 (Mo. App. E.D. 1993).
To avoid the conflict, the insurer must either provide independent counsel, or pay the costs incurred by the insured in retaining his own counsel. Howard v. Russell Stover Candies, Inc., 649 F.2d 620, 625 (Mo. 8th Cir. 1981).
Who Is Responsible for Fees of Independent Counsel?
The insured. Howard v. Russell Stover Candies, Inc., 649 F.2d 620, 625 (Mo. 8th Cir. 1981).
What Are Independent Counsel’s Obligations?
No cases found.
What Settlement Duties Exist?
Insurer has duty to act in good faith to settle claim. Truck Ins. Exchange v. Prairie Framing, LLC, 162 S.W.3d 64, 93 (Mo. App. W.D. 2005).
What Actions May Result in a Claim for Bad Faith?
An insurer can be found liable under bad faith settlement claim if the following occurs: (1) The liability insurer has assumed control over negotiations, settlement, and legal proceedings brought against the insured; (2) The insured has demanded that the insurer settle the claim brought against the insured; (3) The insurer refuses to settle the claim within the liability limits of the policy; and (4) In so refusing, the insurer acts in bad faith, rather than negligently. Dyer v. General American Life Insurance Co., 541 S.W.2d 702, 704 (Mo. Ct. App. 1976).
A bad-faith-refusal-to-settle judgment was upheld against an insurer, even though an insurer was not in control of the insured’s defense at the time the excess judgment was entered. Truck Ins. Exchange v. Prairie Framing, LLC, 162 S.W.3d 64, 93 (Mo. App. W.D. 2005).
An insured can bring a cause of action against an insurer for vexatious refusal to pay under Mo. Rev. Stat. §§ 375.296 and 375.420.
Are Attorney’s Fees Recoverable in Insurer-Insured Dispute?
Yes, under Mo. Rev. Stat. §§ 375.296 and 375.420.
Are Punitive Damages Recoverable in Insurer-Insured Dispute?
Insured may be awarded punitive damages award under the vexatious refusal to pay statute. Baker v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 846 F.2d 495, 497 (8th Cir. 1988)
Mo. Rev. Stat. § 375.420.
An insurer may be liable for the entire judgment against the insured, including the portion of the award that is in excess of the policy limits, and may be liable for additional, intangible “tort” damages, e.g. damages for emotional distress, damage to reputation or damage to credit, and punitive damages. Shobe v. Kelly, 279 S.W.3d 203, 209 (Mo. Ct. App. 2009) .
Alternative Coverage Options
An insurer does not have the right to intervene in a tort action against the insured for the purpose of defending the action on the merits or to seek a stay of the action during the pendency of a declaratory judgment action filed to determine the insurer’s coverage obligations. Ballmer v. Ballmer, 923 S.W.2d 365, 368 (Mo. App. W.D. 1996).
Declaratory Judgment – Mo. Rev. Stat. § 527.010.
“The circuit courts in this state, within their respective jurisdictions, shall have power to declare rights, status, and other legal relations whether or not further relief is or could be claimed. No action or proceeding shall be open to objection on the ground that a declaratory judgment or decree is prayed for. The declaration may be either affirmative or negative in form and effect; and such declarations shall have the force and effect of a final judgment or decree.”
Vexatious Refusal to Pay Statute – Mo. Rev. Stat. §§ 375.296 and 375.420.