It has been held that a liability insurer does not waive its “no settlement without consent” provision just by permitting the policyholder to offer a settlement with an amount of money which was less than the amount for which the policyholder ultimately settled the underlying case. Piedmont Office Realty Trust, Inc. v. XL Specialty Ins. Co., ___ Ga. ___, 771 S.E.2d 864, 866 (Ga. 2015):
In this case, . . . the plain language of the insurance policy does not allow the insured to settle a claim without the insurer's written consent. It also provides that the insurer shall only be liable for a loss which the insured is “legally obligated to pay.” Finally, the policy contains a “no action” clause which stipulates that the insurer may not be sued unless, as a condition precedent, the insured complies with all of the terms of the policy and the amount of the insured's obligation to pay is determined by a judgment against the insured after a trial or a written agreement between the claimant, the insured, and the insurer. In light of these unambiguous policy provisions, we hold that Piedmont is precluded from pursuing this action [an alleged breach of an excess insurance contract and a statutory claim of bad faith failure to settle] against XL because XL did not consent to the settlement and Piedmont failed to fulfill the contractually agreed upon condition precedent.
Reprinted with the permission of Thomson Reuters from the manuscript of the author's 2015 Supplement chapters, and in particular Section 5:15, in “Litigation and Prevention of Insurer Bad Faith, 3d” ©2015 by Thomson Reuters.