Commercial Insurance Coverage Issues

Commercial Insurance represents a demanding area of insurance disputes. A business dispute interrupts the normal business operation of a company and requires an aggressive attorney to resolve the issue as quickly and efficiently as possible. I under stand the demands of businesses and the need to resolve an issue as quickly and efficiently as possible to preserve business capital, continue acceptable cash flow and protect equity.

GENERAL LIABILITY INSURANCE COVERAGE

From duty to defend issues and toxic tort and environmental issues to products liability, I provide detailed legal analysis and legal opinions as well as complete coverage litigation with the insurance company. I recognize the pressures on businesses to meet budgets, contain costs and resolve legal matters as quickly and efficiently as possible. I focus on setting early goals with the business and resolving the matter to the maximum benefit of the business, which may include early resolution of a questionable matter to the full-scale litigation of a coverage dispute.

Business services can include policy negotiations during the application and underwriting, drafting policy provisions, risk analysis, client education seminars on all facets of insurance coverage, in-house CLE seminars for corporate counsel, as well as litigation of coverage matters across the country.

PERSONAL & ADVERTISING INJURY LIABILITY

These claims can represent a highly specialized coverage area for policy holder counsel. Policy provisions have evolved over time and litigating this area requires an understanding of the history, a knowledge of commercial general liability policy provisions addressing personal and advertising injury liability combined with strong research skills to determine any nuances or recent changes in the applicable jurisdiction.

I am available to assist business policyholders from the inception of the claim, complete coverage analysis, submission of the advertising or personal injury claims and developing a strategy for obtaining the maximum available insurance coverage including negotiations with the claims handler through extensive litigation if required.

PRODUCTS AND COMPLETED OPERATIONS

Products and completed operations coverage can reappear years after the service or product has ceased. The issues can arise from work performed years earlier, sometimes by a sub-contractor or from a product removed from the market many years in the past.

Coverage questions can arise not only with the definitions in the policy as to whether an item is a “product” but also cross over to areas of toxic torts, automobile liability or construction defect.

Navigating these policy provisions requires coverage counsel knowledgeable with the terms, conditions and definitions of the policy as well as someone, simply put, smart enough and experienced enough to completely understand your business and the role of your product or service in the larger picture.

My personal background includes actual work in auto manufacturing with Ford management, automobile repair, metal fabrication, auto paint, residential paint, home remodeling, carpet cleaning, land surveying, to wine making. This collection of skills allows me to explore and understand your business in a level and detail that adds significant value to your representation.

BAD FAITH AND EXTRA CONTRACTUAL EXPOSURE

With extensive experience in bad faith claims, research, education and CLE, I recognize the proper and important role that bad faith claims fill. A bad faith claims against an insurance company can result in verdicts in the millions of dollars. These claims cannot be left on the table or ignored merely because they may be difficult to prosecute. The improper denial of coverage or a duty to defend can give rise to a significant bad faith claim, claim of estoppel or extra-contractual remedy for the policyholder.

Improper claims handling or failing to settle a matter within the policy limits also represents a potential bad faith claim. The attorney handling these claims for a business must aggressively pursue these claims to correct an insurance company’s improper actions and provide a remedy for the time and cost incurred by the business. My coverage experience assists businesses with evaluating whether a bad faith claim exists, the likelihood of a monetary remedy and the cost of achieving that remedy.