eleventh circuitMost liability insurance policies have provisions stating that the insured has a duty to cooperate with the insurer in the investigation and defense of a claim. In most claims situation, this requirement is not an issue. From time to time, however, questions arise whether or not the insured has fulfilled its duty to cooperate. Questions also arise whether or not the insurer’s conduct (or lack thereof) excuses the insured from the duty to cooperate. Two recent decisions from the Eleventh Circuit, one applying Florida law and one applying Georgia law, involved cases in which the insurer contended that it was relieved of its obligations under the relevant policy because the insured had breached its duty to cooperate. In both cases, the appellate court held that the insureds had breached their duties. The cases provide something of a roadmap for insureds to follow in avoiding challenges based on alleged breaches of the duty to cooperate.
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