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Legal Memorandum: Legal Rights of the Landlord in VI

Issue: In the Virgin Islands, what are a landlord’s legal rights against a tenant for failure to secure liability insurance required by the terms of the lease?

Area of Law: Insurance Law, Real Estate Law
Keywords: Landlord's legal rights; Failure to secure liability insurance; Lease terms
Jurisdiction: Federal, Virgin Islands
Cited Cases: 858 F.2d 128; 264 F. Supp. 2d 261
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 05/01/2006

Under a standard liability policy, the insurer has a duty to defend the named insureds and cover the costs of litigation.  Erie Ins. Exchange v. Virgin Islands Enters., Inc., 264 F. Supp. 2d 261 (D.V.I. 2003); Imperial Cas. & Indem. Co. v. High Concrete Structures, Inc., 858 F.2d 128 (3d Cir. 1988) (applying Pennsylvania law).

Further            more, an insurer owes its insureds a fiduciary duty to place the insured’s interests ahead of its own when the two are in conflict.  It must entertain settlement of claims in good faith to further the insured’s interests.  Webb v. Lexington Ins. Co., 876 A.2d 858 (N.J. App. Div. 2005).

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