Excess-primary relations and bad faith claims

The Fifth Circuit returned to the tension between excess and primary carriers in RSUI Indemnity Co. v. American States Ins. Co., a bad faith case under Louisiana law.  After a review of the cases on the issue, the Court held “that under the circumstances of this case, where an excess carrier alleges that a primary insurer in bad faith breached its duty to defend a common insured properly and caused exposure of the insured to an increase in the settlement value of the case above the primary policy limit, which the excess insurer must then satisfy on the insured’s behalf, the excess insurer has a subrogated cause of action against the primary insurer for any payment above what it otherwise would have been required to pay.”  No. 14-30033 (Sept. 25, 2014).

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