Do Homeowners Insurers Have a Duty to Defend You?

Posted on June 5, 2023


Long Nguyen | author

Site Logo Favicon

ICHQ | Site Author

The duties between you and homeowners’ insurance, as far as your property damage claims are concerned, are detailed in your policy. But what about third-party claims? What happens when someone sues you for damage they claim was caused by a dangerous condition on your property?

Does the insurance company have a duty to defend you? With Insurance Claim HQ of Louisiana, we know the laws surrounding the duty to defend and can help if your insurer declines to do so.

Homeowners Insurance Duty to Defend in Louisiana

Generally, an insurer’s duty to defend you against suits is broader than its liability for damage claims. However, the duty to defend is often determined by the merits of the allegations in the plaintiff’s petition.

What’s interesting is that Louisiana is a direct action state, meaning the duty to defend is often expanded in many cases. This means that the insurer is bound to defend you in all the claims, even those outside the policy’s coverage.

However, the homeowner should know that the law now considers proration when determining how much an insurer should pay in defense costs. That means an insurer is not on the hook to pay all the defense costs if you’ve only been with them for a short time.

For homeowners, that means the complexities of long-tail exposure claims get even more complicated. This is where the intervention of an experienced and dedicated homeowners insurance claim attorney is vital.

Why Would You Want Your Insurer to Defend You?

Insurance claims lawsuits are generally time and money intensive. Most take years to resolve, which can easily place you in financial turmoil, and that’s before the judgment on the claim is made.

Having an insurance company oblige to its duty to defend you presents you with the best-case scenario and various benefits, which includes:

  • An experienced legal defense team
  • Legal assistance for uncertain claims
  • Protection against fraudulent claims
  • No out-of-pocket legal expenses

Can the Insurer Deny the Duty to Defend?

Insurance companies are businesses like any other. They’re designed to maximize profits, and some often practice bad faith and can deny the duty to defend in insurance even when they’re obligated to.

Should you find yourself in such a position, speak to an experienced bad faith insurance attorney serving New Orleans to represent your interests and ensure the insurance company holds up its end of the deal.

Contact an Experienced Bad Faith Insurance Attorney Today

If you’re being sued by a third party because of damage or injuries caused by property within your home and the insurance company is declining its duty to defend in insurance, the bad faith insurance attorneys at Insurance Claim HQ can help. We have vast experience in homeowners’ insurance claims and dedicate our practice to looking out for the best interests of our clients. You can learn more by contacting us today.

FAQs About the Duty to Defend

When is an insurer obligated to defend the homeowner against third-party claims?

An insurer can be obligated to defend depending on the third party’s complaint and whether the action falls within the scope of the coverage under your homeowners insurance, even if the claim is fraudulent, false, or groundless.

What is the scope of the duty to defend?

If some of the allegations of the claim are covered by the indemnification provisions for the policy, the insurer is obligated to defend the entire action.