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Your Broker May Be Your Friend – But Ain’t Your Lawyer

by Editors on December 24, 2005

Have a close relationship with your insurance broker? Great – but don’t get too chummy – as a recent post at the InsuranceScrawl points out:

"Policyholders often assume they have a confidential relationship with their insurance brokers. Not so.

Communications with or by brokers can become unwelcome pieces of evidence in insurance-coverage cases. Brokers have not been schooled in the need to recognize that their communications constitute evidence, for good or ill. Broker communications often are unhelpful in coverage cases because (with due respect): (i) brokers are not lawyers and so sometimes make casual, overly broad or unduly fuzzy statements about what’s covered or not; (ii) brokers don’t keep up with changing insurance-coverage law in every jurisdiction and the cutting-edge of coverage disputes; and (iii) brokers suffer from bureaucratic capture (that is, bend toward the thinking of insurance carriers). Most courts hold that insurance brokers are agents of the insured, rather than being true neutrals in a transaction, so insurance-company lawyers will argue that infelicities in broker correspondence should be deemed agent-admissions against the insured."

Link: Insurance Scrawl: Your Broker May Be Your Friend – But Ain’t Your Lawyer.