Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 38.2. Insurance
Chapter 8. Service of Process

§ 38.2-807. Attorney fees.

A. In any action against an unlicensed insurer upon an insurance contract issued or delivered in this Commonwealth to a resident of this Commonwealth or to a corporation authorized to do business in this Commonwealth, the court may allow the plaintiff a reasonable attorney fee if (i) the insurer has failed to make payment in accordance with the terms of the contract for 30 days after demand prior to the commencement of the action and (ii) the court concludes that the refusal was vexatious and without reasonable cause. The fee shall not exceed 33 1/3 percent of the amount that the court or jury finds the plaintiff is entitled to recover against the insurer, but shall be at least $200.

B. Failure of the insurer to defend the action shall be deemed prima facie evidence that its failure to make payment was vexatious and without reasonable cause.

1952, c. 317, § 38.1-70; 1986, c. 562; 2010, c. 343.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.