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Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Liability Insurance

2017

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The Forfeiture Of Coverage Defenses Rule: An Economic Analysis, Tom Baker, Ezra Friedman, Kyle D. Logue Jul 2017

The Forfeiture Of Coverage Defenses Rule: An Economic Analysis, Tom Baker, Ezra Friedman, Kyle D. Logue

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In liability insurance, the duty to defend is broader than the duty to cover. Thus it is possible that an insurer that has a duty to defend a suit may not have the duty to cover the policyholder's liabilities in the suit. However, if the penalty for a breach of the duty to defend is limited to actual legal costs spent by the defendant, the insurer may have an incentive to refuse to defend, even when the duty to defend is clear. This occurs because the insurer will not internalize the consequences of an inadequate defense when it ultimately ...