Liability Policies Expert Witnesses Part 1

Liability policies expert witnesses may testify regarding insurance loss claims, insurance policy coverage, liability policies, and related topics. In The Insurer’s Duty to Defend: A Quick Analysis, attorney Thomas H. Veitch, partner with the law firm of Langley & Banack, Inc. in San Antonio, writes:

The application of the “duty to defend” in liability policies has been a cause of controversy for many, many years. Consequently, there is now an abundance of case law dealing with a variety of issues involving the duty to defend. The case law provides some general guidelines for dealing with these issues. While the precise rules of law may vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, the guidelines are much the same. The following are some general rules applied by Texas courts and other jurisdictions following the “Eight Corners Analysis” regarding a duty to defend.

The insurer’s duty to defend is a contractual duty determined by the provisions of the insurance policy.

The eight-corners rule emanates from the fact that only two documents are considered relevant to the determination of the duty to defend, i.e., the policy and the pleadings.

Jurisdictions utilizing the eight-corners rule generally apply a liberal interpretation to the allegations in the petition and resolve any doubt as to the duty to defend in favor of the insured (but will not read facts into the pleadings).