What Does an Insurance Defense Attorney Do? The Answer to Your Question

What Does an Insurance Defense Attorney Do? Suppose you’ve ever needed to file an insurance claim after an accident. In that case, you may have received unpleasant news in a denial letter from your insurer’s claims department.
The same can happen if you’re injured at work—you pay your premiums and receive no support when you need it most.
In these situations, you might to hire an insurance defense attorney to help prove that your injuries or losses are real and valid to receive fair compensation for medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and more.

What Is Insurance Defense?

Insurance defense law is a specialized practice area that focuses on representing insurance companies in lawsuits related to car accidents, injuries, and other forms of personal injury.

Insurance defense attorneys, who may also be called insurance litigators, often work closely with their clients—companies like Allstate and Progressive Insurance—to represent them in civil cases brought against them by plaintiffs (often accident victims).

Insurers typically hire defense lawyers when they’re facing a liability case. For example, if you were injured in a car accident where your friend was driving, their insurance company would probably cover legal fees and costs of hiring an attorney specializing in personal injury law.

Who Is an Insurance Defense Attorney?

Insurance defense attorneys are legal professionals who assist insurance companies in handling policyholders‘ claims and fighting civil lawsuits related to coverage.

When insurers deny a claim, they may hire a defense attorney on a retainer or a contingency basis, meaning they don’t pay unless they win.

Suppose you’ve got insurance coverage through your job or another source. In that case, the odds are that you’ve interacted with someone in one of these positions before. Although their work is often contentious and not particularly well understood by the general public, insurance defense attorneys play an important role for those who need legal help.


Insurance defense attorneys are responsible for defending clients who have been accused of insurance fraud.

Insurance companies have many reasons for not wanting to pay out on a claim, including fraud. Insurance companies will argue that their policyholders are lying about their injuries or lost property; it is your job as an insurance defense attorney to defend them and prove them wrong.

As you can imagine, many of these cases require extensive research and fact-finding and patience and tenacity. As an insurance defense attorney, This is where your training comes into play. By obtaining an education from a school such as Stanford Law School, you can develop these skills over time and help make yourself one of the most qualified insurance defense attorneys available.

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To understand what an insurance defense attorney does, it’s first important to know how insurance law works.

When you claim your car insurance or homeowners policy, your insurer is legally obligated to accept that claim and payout damages if they are found at fault.
Suppose they don’t want to payout. In that case, however, insurance companies can deny your claim using several different legal defenses – and if that happens, you may need a lawyer. Many attorneys who practice in personal injury or civil litigation will also handle these cases on behalf of their clients.

Interesting facts about insurance defense attorneys

All insurance defense attorneys have both civil and criminal experience, as they are also called upon by their clients in product liability, workers’ compensation, employment issues, construction defects and more.

Insurance defense attorneys generally work in one of three ways: They can be employed directly by insurance companies for a salary; They can work for law firms that specialize in representing insurance companies (called reinsurance law firms), or on a contract basis for specific cases.

Although many describe what an insurance defense attorney does as adversarial, it’s important to note that only about 5 percent of all litigation involves a lawyer who works exclusively for one side.


Insurance defense attorneys work for insurance companies, representing them in lawsuits and claims against them. For example, get in a car accident and submit a claim against your own insurance company. You’ll probably get a letter from an attorney representing that company asking that you provide more information about your case.

In most cases, insurance defense attorneys work on contingency; they only collect fees if they successfully defend their clients against any claims made against them.
Like all lawyers, insurance defense attorneys have extensive education requirements and strict licensing procedures; however, it can be easier to become licensed than in other practice areas because most states don’t require specific educational or experiential prerequisites.

FAQs on What Does an Insurance Defense Attorney Do

What kind of insurance cases does an insurance defense attorney accept?

As a general rule, most of them take cases involving bad faith, bodily injury, motor vehicle liability, property damage and insurance fraud.
Many also handle other cases, including workers’ compensation, first-party benefits (auto or home), Social Security, and unemployment claims.
If your case involves a business entity such as a corporation or partnership — or you are suing on behalf of one — look for attorneys who list business litigation as part of their practice area.
In addition to representing injured people or entities in disputes with insurance companies (or with people who have insurance claims against them), many insurance defense attorneys use their investigative skills and knowledge of how insurance works to advise individuals (and corporations) about issues like choosing coverage limits and avoiding unnecessary fees.

How much do insurance defense attorneys charge?

A consumer’s first step when hiring an attorney is figuring out how much their representation will cost.
Unlike in other areas of law, where hourly rates are customary, criminal defense lawyers generally charge a flat fee. Insurance defense attorneys represent insurance companies, which means they have a financial incentive to get their clients off quickly and inexpensively.
While you may not need your attorney around every hour of every day—this depends on your case’s stage—you will likely spend more money if you hire a lawyer with a $200 hourly rate than if you hire one who charges $5,000 upfront.

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