Insurance Expert Witness On Duty To Defend Part 2

In The Insurer’s Duty to Defend: A Quick Analysis, attorney and insurance expert witness Thomas H. Veitch describes 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).

The issue whether a duty to defend exists is a question of law.

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