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Responding to Time-Limited Demands for Policy Limits: Reasonableness, Safe Harbors; Obtaining Summary Judgment

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 Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE course will guide counsel in responding to time-limited demands for payment of the policy limits without drawing a claim for bad faith. The panel will discuss controlling law and statutes, requests that do and do not trigger insurer obligations, safe harbors that may excuse a response, and strategies for summary judgment should a bad faith claim be filed.


A time limited policy limits demand to a defendant's insurer is a frequent tool used by plaintiff's lawyers in an attempt to force crucial decisions on limited information. They have the capacity to force crucial decisions, sometimes with limited information and with very little time to decide. Bad faith liability can arise from the improper rejection or non-payment of a time-limited demand, often without showing intentional wrongdoing or motive.

What constitutes a valid demand that triggers the obligation to respond and what constitutes a proper response has generated a broad body of case law. Statutory or judge-made "safe harbors" may allow a range of responses, but these rules can be narrowly construed and easily misinterpreted.

If a bad faith claim is filed, the reasonableness standards that apply in a time-limited demand situation make summary judgment challenging but by no means impossible, as demonstrated by recent decisions in key jurisdictions.

Listen as this experienced panel of insurance attorneys guides counsel through responding to time-limited demands and offers a roadmap to summary judgment if a bad faith case is filed.



  1. Essential elements of a policy-limit, time-limit demand
  2. Standards for evaluation of time-limited demands
    1. Statutory
    2. Common law
    3. Covered vs. uncovered claims
  3. Safe harbors
  4. Roadmap to summary judgment if bad faith alleged


The panel will review these and other pivotal issues:

  • Who can make a time-limited demand, and is client consent required?
  • Does the insurer have a duty to settle or a duty to make reasonable settlement decisions?
  • Must the demand include any particular information?
  • What is the importance of releases, indemnification, and lien treatment offered or omitted from a demand?
  • Can the insurer consider coverage defenses or questionable liability when responding?


Bertschi, Scott
Scott F. Bertschi

Clyde & Co US

Mr. Bertschi focuses his practice on insurance coverage, professional liability defense and data breach response. He...  |  Read More

Hudgins, Rachel
Rachel E. Hudgins

Hunton Andrews Kurth

Ms. Hudgins represents clients in complex insurance coverage and bad faith litigation.

 |  Read More
Levin, Jay
Jay M. Levin

Flaster Greenberg

Mr. Levin is a member of Flaster Greenberg’s Insurance Counseling and Recovery and Litigation Practice...  |  Read More

Parson, Kimberly
Kimberly Parson

Rebar Kelly

Ms. Parson is the managing partner of the firm’s New Jersey office. She has experience representing clients in...  |  Read More

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