Defense Costs

Published: | Updated: August 15, 2016;

Definition - What does Defense Costs mean?

Defense costs refer to all the costs of defending against a lawsuit. These expenses include the cost of hiring a lawyer, court fees, investigations, gathering facts, filing legal paperwork, and other related costs. In terms of insurance, various liability insurance policies cover these expenses.

Insuranceopedia explains Defense Costs

A liability insurance policy may offer defense cost coverage in one of two ways: It may be included as part of the liability limit or as a separate limit.

For instance, imagine that policy A and B both offer liability limits of $100,000, but policy B covers defense costs separately. Following a lawsuit, the policyholder must pay $125,000 total, with $100,000 in damages and $25,000 in defense costs. Policy A would only cover $100,000 and leave the policyholder responsible for the remaining $25,000, while policy B would cover $100,000 and the defense costs up to the coverage limits.

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