The issue of the discoverability of the contents of insurance company files is one that has vexed litigants and the courts for many years — particularly when the specific items sought to be discovered involve certain types of communications between the insurer and its attorney(s).

In a series of recent cases, the courts have analyzed the insurer's obligation to disclose the contents of its files, including attorney communications with regard to the decision of whether to accept or reject a claim, notwithstanding the insurer's invocation of the "material prepared for litigation" and/or attorney-client privileges — with mixed results.

Before decision is made to pay or reject claim

In Bombard v. Amica Mutual Ins. Co., 11 A.D.3d 647 (2d Dept. 2004), the court stated, as follows:

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