Vanderbilt Law Review

First Page



The primary right of the insured against his liability insurer is the right to reimbursement of loss falling within the coverage defined in the policy. The scope of that right is ordinarily determined by construction of the clauses defining the Bodily Injury Liability and Property Damage Liability Coverages.' The present article is concerned with ancillary rights, arising in part from these and other policy provisions and in part from the relationship created by liability insurance. These rights of the insured are, from the opposite point of view, duties of the insurer--duties concerned principally with settlement of the tort claim or defense against it. This article is also concerned with preservation of the insured's rights in the face of a defense of non-co-operation and with preservation of the insurer's defenses in the face of conflicts of interest affecting the conduct of its representatives, including the attorney appointed to defend in the name of the insured. The company's duties regarding settlement are considered first, since the legal doctrines in this area are rather fully developed and will serve by analogy to support suggestions concerning unsettled problems in other areas.