Strategies, Challenges, and Answers

When Is An Insurer Responsible For Pre-Tender Defense Costs?

The Nevada Supreme Court has not decided whether an insurance company is obliged to reimburse its insured for defense costs incurred prior to the tender of the claim to the company.  However, in many instances, where Nevada law is silent, Nevada looks to California law for direction.  See Zurich Am. Ins. Co., 720 F. Supp. 2d 1223, 1234 n. 11 (2010).  See also Commercial Standard Ins. Co. v. Tab Constr., Inc., 94 Nev. 536, 539, 583 P.2d 449, 451 (1978) (relying on the California Supreme Court’s interpretation of California statute when interpreting a similar Nevada statute).

Assuming Nevada will follow California precedent, an insurer is not liable for pre-tender defense costs.  N. Ins. Co. of N.Y. v. Allied Mut. Ins. Co., 955 F.2d 1353, 1361 (9th Cir. 1992) (enforcing policy provision precluding reimbursement to insured for defense costs voluntarily incurred before tender, but holding that an insurer may be liable to a co-insurer for pre-tender expenses incurred before the defense was tendered to the insurer); see also Xebec Dev. Partners, Ltd. v. Nat’l Union Fire Ins. Co., 12 Cal. App. 4th 501, 564-5, 15 Cal. Rptr. 2d 726, 762-3 (App. 1993), disapproved of on other grounds by Essex Ins. Co. v. Five Star Dye House, Inc., 38 Cal. 4th 1252, 137 P.3d 192 (2006).

If you have questions about the duty to defend in Nevada, please contact Mike Mills at Bauman Loewe Witt & Maxwell either by phone at 702-240-6060 or by email at mmills@blwmlawfirm.com

Nevada’s Exclusive Remedy Provision Prevents Employees From Suing Insured Employers For On-The-Job Injuries In Nearly All Cases

“Have you been injured?” is a common question posed by personal injury attorneys who are looking for new clients.  But just because a person was injured in an accident does not mean that the injured person can prevail in a negligence suit against the … [Continue reading]

Advice On Settling Wrongful Death Claims in Nevada In January 2017 “Nevada Lawyer”

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Mike Mills’ article on Settling Wrongful Death Claims in Nevada appeared in the January 2017 issue of the Nevada Lawyer magazine.  Mike was honored to join other legal scholars who covered important topics on Personal Injury Law in Nevada.  Check out … [Continue reading]

In Deciding Whether An Insurance Company Has A Duty To Defend Its Insured, Will Nevada Courts Look Beyond The Four Corners Of The Complaint?

four corners

In deciding whether an insurance company has a duty to defend its insured, courts have often said that they will not look beyond the “four corners” of the plaintiff’s complaint. If the allegations of the Complaint allege facts that fall within … [Continue reading]

Season’s Greetings

I really enjoy this time of year.  It means that I get to spend more time with my family and splurge eating some foods that I would otherwise shun. I hope that all of the readers of the Nevada Law Blogs will also be sipping something warm, eating … [Continue reading]