Defense Initial Letter to Insurer and Insured

Form: Attorney’s Letter to Insurer when hired to defend Insured

Use your word processor to change “Insurance Company” to the name of Insurance Company and “Insured” to the name of the person or organization that Insurance Company has hired you to defend.

[Show in the letter inside addresses for both the Insurance Company and also the Insured, and send the identical letter to both of them.]


Re: ….v……

We have been retained by Insurance Company to defend Insured in regard to the above referenced lawsuit. This letter confirms what we are to do. A duplicate original of this letter is being sent to Insured, so Insured will know Insurance Company has retained us, the terms of that retainer, and that we are preparing an answer to be filed in court for Insured.

We are retained not only for the court representation, but also we are also to give some opinions to Insurance Company and give some services to Insurance Company in regard to settlement. Under this retainer, we have no obligation to handle other matters, including other litigation that may arise out of the same occurrence or conduct or to represent the same Insured or Insurance Company in other matters.

We are not retained to advise either Insurance Company or Insured regarding the existence or meaning of insurance coverage, or the existence or meaning of duties owed by either Insurance Company or Insured to the other because of the insurance policy. By this letter we are telling both Insurance Company and Insured that we are undertaking this defense with no duty to advocate Insured’s position on settlement to Insurance Company, or to advocate Insurance Company’s position on settlement to Insured.

We are taking this opportunity to tell both Insurance Company and Insured that we understand that you each agree that if there is anything we are told by either Insurance Company or Insured, we can tell it to the other. If at any time there is an item which you do not wish disclosed to the other, do not tell us about it without first previously telling us that you are about to tell us a confidential matter that you do not want us to tell the other about. It is my understanding that my retainer instructs me not to disclose to the other anything declared to me by Insurance Company or Insured to be such a confidential matter, but that anything else may be disclosed between Insurance Company and Insured.

If at any time we believe that a conflict of interest exists between Insurance Company and Insured, we may attempt to resolve minor conflicts, but if we believe that a conflict cannot be resolved reasonably, at our option we may withdraw from the representation of Insured, advise Insured to ask Insurance Company to appoint another attorney to defend Insured, and thereafter we may continue to represent only the interests of Insurance Company in this lawsuit.

We are taking this opportunity to tell both Insurance Company and Insured that we understand that we are not retained to present counterclaims or cross claims for Insured for any damages or injuries that Insured may have suffered in the occurrence or because of conduct of persons involved in the occurrence. However, upon separate agreement with us, and with the written consent of both Insured and Insurance Company, we may be able to do so. (Please contact us immediately if you wish to discuss this.) Insured may at his own expense hire separate lawyers to present any counterclaims or cross claims, and we will coordinate with the additional attorneys for Insured in this litigation.

If you have any disagreement with our understanding of the terms of our retainer for this case defense, contact us immediately. We are now proceeding to defend Insured in accordance with this retainer by Insurance Company.

Yours truly,

[attorney or firm's usual signature block]