“The law is well established that when an insurer unjustifiably refuses to defend its insured, the insurer is liable to the insured for the reasonable attorney’s fees and other expenses incurred in defending the action brought by the third party as damages for the breach of [the insurance] contract.” Companion Property & Casualty Ins. Co. v. Category 5 Management Group, LLC, 41 Fla.L.Weekly D696a (Fla. 1st DCA 2016) quoting Fla. Ins. Guar. Ass’n v. All the Way with Bill Vernay, Inc., 864 So. 2d 1126, 1129 (Fla. 2d DCA 2003).
In Category 5 Management Group, a CGL insurer denied its insured’s request for defense and indemnity in a personal injury action. The insured was thus forced to retain counsel to defend itself in this matter. The insured then sued its carrier for coverage and to recoup the attorney’s fees it incurred in defending the personal injury action. The court, in finding that there was coverage, held that the insured was entitled to recoup its attorney’s fees incurred in defending the personal injury action.
If you have an issue with your insurer refusing to defend you or indemnify you relating to a third-party claim, it is imperative that you consult with counsel to assist you in (a) defending you in the third-party claim and (b) pursuing the insurer for coverage and reimbursement of defense costs.
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