MC Hammer, rapper/dancer extraordinaire, burst on the early 1990s music scene with his hit song, “U Can’t Touch This.” Although MC Hammer is clearly no authority on insurance coverage, his name does evoke a common scenario that claim adjusters face. Your insured — indignant about being sued — urges you to defend a claim to the bitter end. If you need to take it all the way to the Supreme Court, then so be it. Defeat this bogus claim.

Ever the faithful adjuster, you forge ahead earnestly. Financially, you have invested much in the defense of the case. The claim clearly has settlement value. You shy away from a “no-pay” stance. Still, you think the claim value is nowhere near policy limits or the amount of the plaintiff’s demand. The trial starts in five weeks. Now you read a letter from the insured’s independent counsel demanding policy limits — or else.

You’ve spent thousands of dollars in legal fees and experts to prepare for trial, all with the insured’s knowledge and buy-in. The demand to settle represents a change in tune from the same insured that previously urged you to defend, defend, defend. You can’t help but feel as though you’re being extorted.

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