Course / Program Material 2007 TIPS 15th Annual Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee Program - Tucson AZ
Marc also addresses how policyholders often assume they have a confidential relationship with their insurance brokers. Communications with or by brokers can be unwelcome pieces of evidence in insurance-coverage cases. Brokers have not been schooled in the need to recognize that their communications constitute evidence, for good or ill. Most courts hold that insurance brokers are agents of the insured, rather than being true neutrals in a transaction, so insurance-company lawyers will argue that infelicities in broker correspondence should be deemed agent-admissions against the insured.
What policyholders and their brokers need to recognize is that, if it is intended that the broker share in the attorney-client privilege (or work-product immunity), the broker's participation must be demonstrably necessary to the legal representation. In other words, Marc states that one can cloak communications where the broker is present only as an incident to the lawyer's need to gather factual information (or to prepare) or otherwise to formulate confidential legal advice to the client. Marc reminds us of a common misconception in the field and how policyholders and their lawyers should be more aware of this problem and handle it accordingly.
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