Steven Plitt, Expert Witness Steven Plitt, Expert Witness
Insurance Bad Faith Claim Handling Expert Serving Clients Nationwide

Insured's Duty To Defend Could Not Be Based On Speculation Over Whether Unpled Claims Existed Or Not

While it is an obvious conclusion, the Montana Supreme Court recently held in Fire Insurance Exchange v. Weitzel, 371 P.3d 457 (Mont. 2016) that the insured's duty to defend could not be based on speculation over whether unpled claims existed or not. The Court found that the complaint in question did not potentially seek damages for false imprisonment or bodily injury where the sole allegation was that the insured defrauded an elderly person. The Montana Supreme Court noted that a complaint did not need to expressly allege a covered cause of action to trigger the insurer's defense obligation, the complaint did need to contain facts that would support a covered claim.

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