Part 13. Litigation Involving Decedent of California Probate Code >> Division 2. >> Part 13.

(a) Subject to the provisions of this chapter, an action to establish the decedent's liability for which the decedent was protected by insurance may be commenced or continued against the decedent's estate without the need to join as a party the decedent's personal representative or successor in interest.
  (b) The remedy provided in this chapter is cumulative and may be pursued concurrently with other remedies.
Notwithstanding Section 366.2 of the Code of Civil Procedure, if the limitations period otherwise applicable to the action has not expired at the time of the decedent's death, an action under this chapter may be commenced within one year after the expiration of the limitations period otherwise applicable.
(a) An action under this chapter shall name as the defendant, "Estate of (name of decedent), Deceased." Summons shall be served on a person designated in writing by the insurer or, if none, on the insurer. Further proceedings shall be in the name of the estate, but otherwise shall be conducted in the same manner as if the action were against the personal representative.
  (b) On motion of an interested person, or on its own motion, the court in which the action is pending may, for good cause, order the appointment and substitution of a personal representative as the defendant.
  (c) An action against the estate of the decedent under this chapter may be consolidated with an action against the personal representative.
The insurer may deny or otherwise contest its liability in an action under this chapter or by an independent action. Unless the personal representative is joined as a party, a judgment in the action under this chapter or in the independent action does not adjudicate rights by or against the estate.
(a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), either the damages sought in an action under this chapter shall be within the limits and coverage of the insurance, or recovery of damages outside the limits or coverage of the insurance shall be waived. A judgment in favor of the plaintiff in the action is enforceable only from the insurance coverage and not against property in the estate.
  (b) Where the amount of damages sought in the action exceeds the coverage of the insurance, subdivision (a) does not apply if both of the following conditions are satisfied:
  (1) The personal representative is joined as a party to the action.
  (2) The plaintiff files a claim in compliance with Section 9390.
(a) This chapter does not apply to an action commenced before July 1, 1989.
  (b) The applicable law in effect before July 1, 1989, continues to apply to an action commenced before July 1, 1989, notwithstanding its repeal by Chapter 1199 of the Statutes of 1988.