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The Alaska Supreme Court has issued an opinion, in response to questions certified by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, prohibiting insurance companies from recovering fees incurred in defending claims under reservations of rights.

The court ruled that Alaska law prohibited enforcement of an insurance policy provision entitling an insurer to reimbursement of fees and costs incurred by the insurer defending claims under a reservation of rights, where (1) the insurer explicitly reserved the right to seek such reimbursement in its offer to tender a defense provided by independent counsel, (2) the insured accepted the defense subject to the reservation of rights, and (3) the claims later were determined to be excluded from coverage under the policy.

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