This book covers the full spectrum of liability insurance issues, including automobile, uninsured and underinsured motorist, homeowner’s, and commercial general liability insurance. More than 1,300 cases are cited throughout the book. The author discusses important, precedential, and controversial decisions, including Darner Motor Sales, Helme, Calvert, and Van Nguyen. Where the Arizona courts have not yet considered an issue, the trend in the courts of other states is provided. Throughout the book, the author has provided factual background information on pertinent cases that illustrate important legal issues and the reasoning behind the court’s decisions.
In addition, the author includes helpful commentary, such as hypotheticals illustrating how to maximize benefits for your client where multiple coverages and multiple policies are available.
Interpreting the Insurance Contract: Rules of Construction – principles of strict and liberal construction, interpretation based on style and size of policy; typed and standard printed policy provisions; the reasonable expectation doctrine; modification of policy; oral contracts and binders; burdens of proof; concurrent causes; rescission based on misrepresentation; waiver; estoppel; lost or destroyed insurance policies; last antecedent rule.
Insurance Policy Duties – duties to indemnify, defend and cooperate; duty of good faith and fair dealing; duty to give equal consideration to settlement; duty to give notice of claims or lawsuits.
Multiple Coverage Issues – determining primary and excess coverages; stacking of coverages; workers’ compensation coverage; guarantee fund; medical payments subrogation; medical payments coverage; allocating policy limits; horizontal exhaustion
Litigation - declaratory judge actions; uninsured and underinsured motorist arbitration; garnishment; subrogation; intervention; contribution; direct action against the insurance company; annulment of liability policies.
Bad Faith - first-party bad faith; third party bad faith; punitive damages; effect of no coverage determination
Automobile Policies - who is an insured; exclusions (commercial use, named driver, named insured and regular use); incontestability; newly acquired vehicles; reimbursement; temporary substitute vehicles; car-pools, drive-by shootings; cancellation.
Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage - mandatory coverage and mandatory availability; physical contact rule; government-owned vehicle exclusion; off-road exclusions; self-insurers; statute of limitations; underinsured motorist coverage; excess and umbrella policies; Territorial scope of uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage; coverage limits; wrongful death claims; healthcare provider liens
Commercial General Liability Policies - the insuring agreement; advertising injury coverage and cyberspace risks; the care, custody or control exclusion; professional services exclusions; environmental coverage claims; mobile equipment; faulty workmanship; contractual liability; cross-employee exclusion; personal injury coverage
Homeowner’s Policies – who is an insured; business pursuits exclusion; automobile exclusions; watercraft exclusions; household exclusions; owned premises exclusion
Intentional Misconduct - coverage for intentional acts; coverage for punitive damages; criminal act exclusions; sexual misconduct
Miscellaneous Insurance Issues - rescission based on misrepresentation; concurrent causation; the loss-in progress rule; contributions claims by insurer against insured; non-waiver agreements regarding claim administration
is a senior member of The Cavanagh Law Firm in Phoenix where he maintains a national insurance coverage and extra-contractual defense practice. He has an LL.M. in Insurance from the University of Connecticut. He is the current successor author to COUCH ON INSURANCE 3D and has written other treatises on insurance law. He has published in excess of 350 law reviews and other professional publications on insurance law, in addition to several national insurance law treatises. He has been cited by the Supreme Courts of 34 states, the Intermediate Appellate Courts in 23 states, 12 of the Federal Circuit Courts of Appeal, 60 Federal District Courts, and the Federal Court of Claims. He has been cited in 95 scholarly articles. He has been continuously listed as a top 50 lawyer in Arizona (2007-2020) by Southwest Super Lawyers®. Only a few lawyers have been continuously on the list since its inception. He is recognized as a "Business Leader" (insurance) by Arizona Business Magazine and has been listed by Arizona Business Magazine as one of the top 100 lawyers in Arizona. Mr. Plitt has been listed in Best Lawyers® since 2007 (10+ years) (insurance) and was named the Insurance Lawyer of the Year by Best Lawyers® in 2012 and 2017 for Phoenix. He is also listed in Best Lawyers for the topic "Litigation - Insurance," and was the Lawyer of the Year in this category in 2020. He is a Fellow in the American College of Coverage and Extra-contractual Counsel. He is a Member of the American Law Institute where he was a consultative member on the development of the Restatement of Liability Insurance. He is a nationally recognized expert witness in insurance claim handling and bad faith cases and has been retained as an expert in hundreds of cases venued in 33 states. He is a former adjunct Professor of Law at ASU College of Law teaching insurance law. He is currently an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Arizona where he teaches insurance law.