Marissa Hayes is a technical editor and contributing writer. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history, and she was the editor of the literary magazine, The Bluestone Review.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Car Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Jul 19, 2021

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The insurance company has an obligation to defend you if you are sued provided you have liability insurance. They can avoid involvement if there is no coverage involved. They will send a lawyer and pay for his service if you need to go to court.

All the legal expenses have to be approved by the insurance company. If the court’s decision is to reject your defense, the insurance company is not obliged to pay for any claim that is not covered by your policy. If there is a plan to file a counter suit, the insurance company is no longer obligated to pay for lawyer’s fees.

This falls under the clause in your insurance policy known as the “Duty to Defend.” You should look up the specific terms under your liability insurance. This way there are no surprises before, during, and after the legal case is filed.

There is another clause in insurance policies called the “Duty to Indemnify.” If the court finds you liable for damages, the insurance company will pay the amount that the court has assessed as just.

Before a case goes to court, you have to expect that your insurance company will investigate the claim and may push for a settlement instead.

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