Reservation of Rights/Moeller Counsel Insurance Law
You have received a reservation of rights letter from your insurance company. What does that mean in layman’s terms, and what should you do about it?
A reservation of rights letter indicates that your insurance company might deny coverage for at least some part of a claim being made on your insurance. For this reason, when your insurance company is defending you under a reservation of rights, there is a fundamental conflict of interest between you and the insurance company.
Acknowledging this conflict of interest, the Mississippi Supreme Court decided in the case of Moeller v. American Guaranty and Liability Insurance Company, that when an insurance company is defending an insured person under a reservation of rights, the insured person has the right to choose counsel representing only their interests, and the insurance company is responsible for paying the attorney. The court’s ruling in this case created the term “Moeller counsel.”
If you have received a reservation of rights letter, obtaining Moeller counsel is a practical way to make sure that your interests are served in a lawsuit where the insurance company could defend you now, and deny coverage later. Retaining Moeller counsel prevents the insurance company from gaining certain confidential information about the insured, because that information could also provide the insurance company with a reason to deny at least part of the insurance coverage. Since Moeller counsel is paid for by the insurance company, there is no reason not to seek an attorney that will represent your interests alone in an insurance lawsuit.
At Roberts and Associates, we represent insured parties being represented under reservations of rights in matters involving:
Premises Liability claims
Failure to procure insurance claims
Failure to disclose property condition claims
Failure to warn claims
Errors and omission claims
Intentional tort claims
Professional negligence claims