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Responding to Insurance Investigations: Cooperating Fully While Safeguarding Privilege and Coverage

Preventing Insurer Abuse, Misuse, Disclosure; Protecting Confidential Information; Guarding Defense Strategy

Recording of a 90-minute CLE video webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Thursday, February 11, 2021

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE course will guide policyholder counsel on strategies and best practices for responding to insurer claims that the duty of cooperation requires disclosure of privileged defense communications or work product that might later be used to challenge coverage. Insurers routinely assess claims under a reservation of rights, always on the lookout for information that might reduce its exposure and loss. The panel will discuss how to navigate cooperation without sacrificing coverage, what types of requests to be alert for, how to require, negotiate and draft appropriate confidentiality agreements, how to object to inappropriate requests, and the utility of the common interest doctrine.


All policies require the policyholder to "cooperate" with the insurance company's investigation in the event of loss or to perform other post-loss duties that the insurer requests. If the policyholder refuses, and the insurer proves that the refusal prejudiced the insurer, coverage could be denied.

When the company requests confidential and even privileged communications and work product under a "reservation of rights," the policyholder should understand that everything it says can and will be used against it in a coverage dispute with the insurance company. These issues become more acute when an excess insurer is involved. Furthermore, privileged information shared with the insurance company could be discoverable by third parties.

Policyholders can take proactive steps to preserve the privileged defense materials while simultaneously complying with the duty to cooperate with the insurer's investigation.

Listen as this experienced panel discusses the types of requests to expect. The panel will explain how to require, negotiate, and draft appropriate confidentiality agreements, how to object to inappropriate requests, and the utility of the common interest doctrine. The panel will also explore when to consider asserting bad faith.



  1. Overview of duty to cooperate
  2. Effect of reservations of rights
  3. Excess insurer issues
  4. Abusive and overreaching demands for information
  5. Protection strategies and techniques for the policyholder


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • Under what circumstances might an insured be justified in refusing to cooperate with the insurer?
  • Can a policyholder require an insurer to execute a confidentiality agreement that imposes limitations on the insurer's use of the insured's personal information?
  • What remedies does the policyholder have if the insurer or its agent discloses confidential information?
  • What is the insurer's burden of proof for disclaiming liability due to the insured's failure to cooperate?
  • Does a defense under a reservation of rights change the scope of the insured's duty to cooperate?


Callantine, Renee
Renee C. Callantine

Cornerstone Law Group

Ms. Callantine is the head of the Firm's insurance coverage practice. Her practice is primarily concentrated on...  |  Read More

Eckler, Donald
Donald Patrick Eckler

Pretzel & Stouffer

Mr. Eckler handles a wide variety of civil disputes in state and federal courts across Illinois and Indiana. His...  |  Read More

Rowe, Todd
Todd M. Rowe


Mr. Rowe is Co-Chair of Tressler’s Insurance Practice Group. He practices in the field of insurance coverage and...  |  Read More

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