Insurance Brokers/Agents and Their Customers: Not the Relationship You Might Have Expected

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Do insurance brokers owe fiduciary duties to their clients? Under California law, until recently, this was an open question. Most attorneys, especially those representing policyholders, included a breach of fiduciary duty cause of action when suing an insurance broker/agent in actions that involve broker/agent malpractice. And, some include these claims when suing a broker/agent and an insurance company for insurance bad faith. California law has now been clarified with the California Court of Appeals for the Second Appellate District’s decision in Workmen’s Auto Insurance Company v. Guy Carpenter & Company, Inc., __ Cal. App. 4th __, Cal. App. LEXIS 533 (May 4, 2011), that held insurance brokers do not owe fiduciary duties to their clients.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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