A. Any underinsured motorist benefits insurer paying such benefits to an insured, by way of settlement or payment pursuant to a judgment, shall have no right of subrogation against any individual or entity who settled with the underinsured motorist benefits insurer’s insured pursuant to subsection K of § 38.2-2206 unless the underinsured motorist failed to reasonably cooperate in the defense of any lawsuit brought against him. An underinsured motorist shall be presumed to have failed to reasonably cooperate if he fails or refuses:
3. To meet with defense counsel for a reasonable period of time after reasonable notice, by phone or in person, within 21 days of being served with any lawsuit and again prior to his deposition and trial; or
4. To notify counsel for the underinsured motorist benefits insurer of any change in address.The underinsured motorist may rebut the presumption that he failed to reasonably cooperate. If the court finds that the underinsured motorist’s failure to cooperate was not unreasonable or that the underinsured motorist otherwise acted in good faith in attempting to comply with his duty to reasonably cooperate with the underinsured motorist benefits insurer, then the underinsured motorist benefits insurer will not regain its right of subrogation.
B. The underinsured motorist benefits insurer seeking the cooperation of the underinsured motorist shall pay the reasonable costs and expenses related to procuring such cooperation, including any travel costs if the underinsured motorist resides more than 100 miles from the location of his deposition or trial. Travel costs may be considered by the court in determining whether the underinsured motorist’s failure to cooperate was unreasonable or not.
C. If the court finds that the underinsured motorist satisfied his duty to cooperate with the underinsured motorist benefits insurer or that his failure to do so was not unreasonable, then the court may award him his costs in defending such subrogation action, including reasonable attorney fees.
2015, cc. 584, 585.