Houston, TX asked in Insurance Defense for Texas

Q: what kind of attorney Practice one of my Insurance Client lawsuit me for underinsured coverage claim ?

I was Allstate agent till 2020 when I started my own independent insurance agency . I received Citation on November 1st from customer lawsuit Allstate and me for incident happened in 2016 . I like to have consultation with Attorney whose practice in defending insurance agent lawsuit

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3 Lawyer Answers
James L. Arrasmith
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A: In your case, where a former client is suing you and Allstate for an underinsured coverage claim related to an incident that occurred while you were an Allstate agent, you should seek a consultation with an attorney experienced in insurance defense. Specifically, you'll want an attorney who has experience defending insurance agents against claims of negligence or failure to procure adequate coverage. These attorneys are familiar with the nuances of insurance law and agent liability. It's crucial to find someone who understands both the legal aspects of insurance policies and the responsibilities of agents.

You can start by contacting your local bar association for referrals or searching for law firms in Texas that specialize in insurance defense. When consulting with potential attorneys, explain the specifics of your case, including your role as an agent and the details of the lawsuit. Ensure they have experience in similar cases and are well-versed in Texas insurance law. Time is of the essence, so it's important to act quickly to protect your interests and prepare an effective defense.

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
  • Frisco, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: It sounds to me like this is an E&O ("Errors and Omissions") claim against you as a licensed professional which falls into the area of practice known as professional liability law (an area of law which I personally happen to practice).

As a licensed insurance agent, you were required to have professional liability insurance, which is often called Insurance Agent Errors & Omissions Insurance. This type of insurance is usually a claims-made policy, which means that the policy you have now (i.e. at the time the customer first made the claim against you) is triggered to provide a defense and indemnity.

Since you are no longer associated with Allstate and have your own agency, it is important to determine what the "retroactive date" of your current policy is. This type of insurance commonly excludes claims arising out of any wrongful act which occurred prior to the retroactive date. Since you were starting your own company, you most likely have "prior acts" coverage so your allegedly wrongful acts while you were with Allstate before forming your own company ought to be covered.

In addition, Allstate's current Insurance Agent Errors & Omissions Insurance might provide insurance coverage to you as an additional insured because you were an employee of Allstate when the allegedly wrongful acts occurred. The definition of an "Insured" in Allstate's policy ought to read "any individual. . .who was a. . .employee of the Named Insured. . .but solely with respect to Professional Services performed on behalf of the Named Insured. . ."

If you wish to discuss your particular situation in specific detail, you can contact my office through my Justia profile to schedule a consultation. You will want to bring your current professional liability insurance policy (the whole thing, not just the dec page) and, if you can get a copy, Allstate's current policy. If not, that is something that will be produced very early in the discovery process as part of the mandatory initial disclosures in the lawsuit.

If E&O coverage is triggered, the professional liability insurer has a duty to defend you in the lawsuit. But, you will have to comply with the notice provisions of the policy and tender the claim to the appropriate insurer for a defense. If the company agrees to defend you without a reservation of rights and there are no steering issues raised by the pleadings against you, you can save money because the carrier will pay a lawyer. But, usually, the attorney primarily assigned to handle your case will be less experienced because less experienced attorneys are less expensive. Depending upon the particular facts of the claim made against you, that may be satisfactory, particularly if that attorney has a more experienced supervising attorney monitoring your case.

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
  • Little Neck, NY

A: It would fall under the practice heading of professional liability/errors omissions. Good luck

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