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Coverage Question Series – Part 59
Post on June 14th, 2019
This is a continuing series in which we address policy coverage questions that we routinely discuss with you and your colleagues. The answers provided are based on the basic policy form, currently LPLP-1s (effective for all policies new or renewed as of May 1, 2018). Refer to your specific policy and any endorsements attached thereto that may change coverage or the answers provided here.

I hired my own defense counsel to represent me before I reported it to OBLIC, am I covered?

Maybe for the claim, but not for pre-tendered defense costs. Any action, including making any payment, hiring defense counsel, or assuming any obligation without the consent of OBLIC is at your own cost. If you have any situation for which you may have coverage, report it immediately before undertaking any expense. 
OBLIC has worked with experienced defense counsel in every corner of the state, and around the country. We have negotiated rates and billing requirements with our panel of defense counsel that helps us to predict the costs of the claim and thus, maintain competitive premiums for you. We do not doubt the attorney you hired before reporting the claim is capable, especially at $500/hr, and her army of associates would leave absolutely no stone unturned or rabbit trail unventured, especially considering their billable requirement; however, any work they perform is at your own cost.
If you know a reputable defense attorney in your area, let us know. Although OBLIC has the sole right to name defense counsel to defend the claim against an Insured, we routinely consider attorneys that are requested by our Insureds to defend.
As you should expect, these Q&A scenarios are based on simple hypotheticals. Coverage determinations for an actual claim are ultimately based on the unique facts, applicable law, and the Terms, Conditions, Limitations, Exclusions, and Endorsements of your policy.
Please contact me at cmarsh@oblic.com if you have any questions!
Carl Marsh, Esq.
Claims Counsel