§ 38.2-209

Award of insured’s attorney fees in certain cases

A. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, in any civil case in which an insured individual sues his insurer to determine what coverage, if any, exists under his present policy or fidelity bond or the extent to which his insurer is liable for compensating a covered loss, the individual insured shall be entitled to recover from the insurer costs and such reasonable attorney fees as the court may award. However, these costs and attorney’s fees shall not be awarded unless the court determines that the insurer, not acting in good faith, has either denied coverage or failed or refused to make payment to the insured under the policy. “Individual,” as used in this section, shall mean and include any person, group, business, company, organization, receiver, trustee, security, corporation, partnership, association, or governmental body, and this definition is declaratory of existing policy.

B. Nothing in this section shall be deemed to grant a right to bring an action against an insurer by an insured who would otherwise lack standing to bring an action.

C. As used in this section, “insurer” shall include “self-insurer.”


1982, c. 576, § 38.1-32.1; 1986, c. 562; 2006, c. 279.


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