When evaluating the duty to defend under liability insurance policies, the primary focus often is on the express allegations in a third-party complaint. Still, in California (and most other jurisdictions), the inquiry does not end there. As the California Supreme Court stated nearly 25 years ago, “[t]he duty to defend is determined by reference to the policy, the complaint, and all facts known to the insurer from any source.” Montrose Chem. Corp. of Cal. v. Superior Court, 6 Cal. 4th 287, 300 (1993) (emphasis added).
In his recent article (available here) published by Lexology, Shaun Crosner discusses the importance of considering facts outside the complaint when evaluating an insurer’s duty to defend its insured against a claim or suit.