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Although insurance agents and brokers accept many duties owed to their customers, they are not guarantors of every problem that may face an insured. In Boyer v. Wells, No. B205345 (Cal.App. Dist.2 08/29/2008), a case not officially published, the California Court of Appeal ruled that an insurance agent only needs to fulfill duties actually assumed and that unless the agent makes specific promises, the agent is not obligated to an insured. In Boyer v. Wells, the insured failed to pay his premium and tried to blame cancellation on the agent who failed to force him to pay. Generally, “an insurance agent does not have a duty to volunteer to an insured that the latter should procure additional or different insurance coverage…” The rule changes when the agent misrepresents the nature, extent or scope of the coverage; the insured requests a particular type or extent of coverage; or the agent assumes an additional duty by either express agreement or by “holding himself out” as having expertise in a given field of insurance being sought by the insured.

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