The Relationship Between Primary and Excess Insurers

May 17, 2001

Scope of this Publication
In Texas, the relationship between primary and excess insurers is governed primarily by the doctrine of equitable subrogation, a sophisticated legal term for a relatively simple concept of having an aggrieved party step into the shoes of another to pursue claims against a culpable third party. Although the doctrine of equitable subrogation is critical in understanding the relationship between primary and excess insurers, it is equally important to understand the primary and excess insurers' duties to their insured. This is due, in part, to the fact that the doctrine of equitable subrogation is derivative of rights that an insured has against its carrier. Thus, this paper first focuses both generally on the primary and excess insurers' duties to an insured(1) and on the duties between a primary and excess insurer.

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