The purpose of insurance is to transfer risk. In exchange for a monetary premium, insurance allows a business or an individual to pass risk it does not wish to bear on to an insurance company.

When an insurable incident arises—be it a lawsuit, damage to real or personal property, or an adverse health or work event—convincing the insurer that it has a contractual obligation to act is critically important.

Our insurance coverage and recovery attorneys minimize our clients’ risk through advising our clients on the purchase of insurance and analyzing the language in insurance policies maintained by our clients to ensure they are protected adequately.

Our team is devoted to maximizing our clients’ insurance investment when seeking coverage and/or payment of benefits after an insurable incident arises.

Counseling our clients on coverage claims and prosecuting claims

Our insurance coverage and recovery attorneys assist our clients in disputes with their insurers over legal fees and settlement costs, negotiate with insurers to ensure the full scope of coverage is provided, and litigate to maximize the recovery of insurance money.

Our approach is conscientious and cost-effective.  Our attorneys collectively have decades of insurance coverage, recovery, and advocacy experience in a wide range of areas.

  • General property and liability
  • Professional liability and malpractice (errors and omissions)
  • Directors and officers liability for public, private, and non-profit entities, including HOA boards
  • Environmental damage
  • Construction defect and design
  • Employment liability, including hiring, termination, and employee theft or dishonesty
  • Business tort coverage, including patent or copyright infringement and trade secret misappropriation
  • Insurer bad faith
  • Data breach and cyber security
  • Products liability and mass torts
  • Automobile, boat, and motorcycle coverage, including underinsured motorist coverage
  • Maritime and marine property coverage
  • Disability, health, and life insurance coverage
  • Title insurance
  • Insurance archeology

Evaluating and managing our clients’ risk

We advise our clients in connection with purchasing insurance and restructuring existing risk management programs. Additionally, we review and analyze existing insurance policies maintained by our clients and advise our clients on language contained in or missing from those policies that does not adequately protect our clients from certain risks. Our industry knowledge, facility with policy interpretation, and trusted contacts in the insurance brokerage community allows us to provide comprehensive advice for clients looking to ensure that their insurance portfolio accurately reflects their risk tolerance.

We also advise our clients regarding transferring risk through contractual provisions in business deals (i.e., insurance and indemnification requirements and other limiting liability provisions) and evaluating the risk transfer mechanisms proposed to them in their business deals.

Denials of coverage or payment of benefits and other insurer strategies

Insurance policies are dense and complex.  Insurers know many policyholders will not take the time to understand their policies or will be unable to, leaving policyholders at a distinct disadvantage, particularly when an insurer denies a claim.  Insurers may deny coverage or payment of benefits for many reasons. While insurers are not legally allowed to deny a claim without a “reasonable basis” to support its coverage determination, insurance companies are for-profit businesses and it is not lost on insurers that they are in a position of power when making coverage determinations.  A policyholder may be put in a vulnerable position after a claim denial and many may not be willing or have the resources to fight for the benefits they are owed.  Thus, if the insurer can impose a significant enough hardship on the insured or claimant, then some percentage of policyholders will accept the adverse coverage determination of their insurer.

Our insurance coverage and recovery attorneys can help you if you are involved in a complex insurance dispute involving the wrongful denial of coverage or payment of benefits or the bad faith handling of your claim by your insurer.

Policy exclusions

Most insurance policies contain exclusions that prevent coverage for certain types of losses.  While your insurer may deny coverage based on a listed policy exclusion, this is not always the end of the road to obtaining the benefits of the insurance you invested in.  You may be able to present evidence that redefines how the loss is perceived or there may be coverage through an ensuing loss provision or efficient proximate cause analysis.

Failure to mitigate your loss

All policyholders have a duty to mitigate their losses.  The failure to mitigate your losses provides the insurer with a defense so it does not have to pay the full benefits under the policy or may result in a complete denial of benefits.  To avoid providing the insurance company with this defense, the insured must exercise reasonable effort in minimizing their losses.

Untimely claims

Policyholders need to be aware of the timing restrictions imposed on them by their insurance policies.  Some insurance policies require notice of a claim be given within a specified period of time.  Furthermore, many insurance policies contain contractual limitations for when a policyholder may bring suit against the insurer before waiving this right. Typically, the contractual suit limitation requires the policyholder to file suit against their insurer within one or two years from the date of the loss, which is years before the breach of contract statute of limitations.

Unreasonable denial of coverage or payment of benefits

An insurer cannot deny coverage or payment of benefits without a reasonable basis to do so.  When an insurer unreasonably denies coverage or payment of benefits, it is acting in bad faith.  This is a violation of the insurer’s common law duty to act in good faith, the Insurance Fair Conduct Act (“IFCA”), and the Consumer Protection Act (“CPA”).  Bad faith and violations of IFCA and CPA claims are unique in that they provide the insured with a course of action to seek more than the benefits owed under the policy.  The insured may be awarded, if successful in their bad faith or other extracontractual claims, extracontractual damages, punitive damages, and attorney fees.

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