Stephannie Ciantro, Claims Manager, addresses the question, “Will insurance approve my own lawyer for representation?”
When an insured receives a summons and complaint, one of the first questions often asked is if their own attorney can stay on as counsel, and be paid for by the carrier. This certainly seems like a reasonable request, as the attorney for the insured has intimate knowledge of the claim, or of the circumstances surrounding the claim. This is especially true when the suit involves allegations which are spread out over a number of years.
It may seem as though the carrier MUST allow the attorney for the insured to stay on as counsel. The decision, however, does in fact lie with the carrier, and they have the right to assign counsel as they see fit.
Most carriers work with certain legal firms, because they are confident in their abilities and process, they have contracts with said firms, and as such, have negotiated acceptable rates for service.
Most carriers will review a request to see if it would benefit the insured to have their own counsel stay on the case—so it is always worth it to ask. However, ultimately it is their decision and their right as insurer to assign counsel as they see fit.
For more information, please contact us.