No matter what you do, insurance is a universal fact of business life. Everyone has to have it. Common sense requires it. Hirschler Fleischer assists policyholders with insurance recovery. Corporate clients and other policyholders have recovered substantial amounts from insurance companies, thanks to the efforts of Hirschler Fleischer’s insurance coverage attorneys. Our track record speaks for itself.
Many policyholders find themselves embroiled in insurance coverage litigation while defending an underlying lawsuit, or cleaning up a first-party loss. In either case, Hirschler Fleischer’s Insurance Recovery Group can aggressively pursue your coverage claim. We use our extensive industry experience combined with our trial background to litigate all types of insurance coverage issues in state and federal courts. In addition, our attorneys have extensive appellate experience to handle your case all the way from start to finish.
Insurance brokers and agents are an important part of any company’s risk management process. Businesses rely on their insurance advisors for sound advice in obtaining the appropriate coverage. Mistakes by brokers can occur. We look to insurance brokers when their errors and omissions are the cause of a failure in insurance coverage being available to you.
The firm’s Insurance Recovery Group handles coverage arbitration, litigation and other dispute resolution proceedings dealing with a wide variety of policies and issues, including:
- Advertising Injury Coverage
- Asbestos Coverage
- Bankers Liability
- Broker/Agent Liability
- Builder’s Risk Policies
- Business Interruption Claims
- Business Owners Policies
- Commercial General Liability
- Directors’ and Officers’ Coverage
- Employee Dishonesty Claims
- Employment Practices Liability
- Errors and Omissions Coverage
- Fidelity and Surety Bond Claims
- Financial Institution Bond Claims
- First Party Property and Boiler
- Inland Marine Coverage
- London Market Policies, including Lloyd’s
- Long Tail Toxic Torts and Environmental Coverage
- Products Liability Coverage
- Professional Liability Policies
- Title Insurance
With respect to insurance coverage litigation, we handle bad faith claims for improper denials of coverage or improper claims handling. Our attorneys regularly litigate bad faith claims for extra contractual damages on behalf of policyholders.
Finally, many states have some type of prohibition or limitation on insurer retained defense counsel assisting the insured client in coverage issues related to the underlying litigation. This “tripartite” relationship is a complex issue that defense counsel usually steer clear of due to the nature of the relationship between the insurer paying the defense costs and the insured client sued in the case. We assist the policyholder in this situation by serving a monitoring counsel, and in the event of a potential excess verdict we can serve as the insured’s secondary defense counsel and coverage counsel. This scenario is also helpful to the insured litigant when it receives a settlement demand within policy limits that the insurer refuses to pay to settle the case. As your outside independent counsel, we can help push the insurer to see the need for such a settlement.
This section contains a sampling of our Insurance Recovery Group’s past engagements that reflect our capabilities across a range of industries and insurance issues. We use this experience to our clients’ benefit.
- Represented a Chicago-based bank to secure insurance coverage for its defense costs and liability related to claims against it for allegedly wrongfully foreclosing on loans and lines of credit.
- Represented a Virginia water authority seeking coverage for its defense in an inverse condemnation action brought against it by a condominium association in northern Virginia.
- Advised a homebuilder facing numerous Chinese drywall claims, and negotiated a waiver of certain exclusions with the builder's insurance carriers in order for remediation work to begin.
- Represented a pet product manufacturer sued by its liability insurer to deny coverage related to an underlying case asserting trademark infringement.
- Lead counsel in an insurance declaratory judgment action seeking coverage for a certified public accounting firm denied coverage for an employee theft of client funds. Also, advised the same client in the types of insurance coverage needed for its operations.
- Assisted a Virginia public utility in processing its first party property claim related to a massive boiler explosion at one of its power generation plants, creating possible asbestos exclusion issues.
- Lead counsel for national self-storage company sued in a declaratory judgment action to allow the insurer to withdraw from defending its insured in an underlying claim by a tenant for destruction of medical files.
- Serve as counsel to insured defendants in tort litigation facing the prospect of excess verdicts above their insurance coverage. Assist in ensuring that counsel retained by the insurer protect the policyholder's interests, and negotiate for the client in securing settlements within their insurance coverage.
- Perform various insurance audits of policyholder's insurance program in order to ensure the necessary coverage is in place, or to advise a client in corporate transactions regarding insurance related concerns.
- Advised an international mining company's subsidiary in bankruptcy concerning insurance issues related to its asbestos insurers commuting their policies. Also, advised a potential purchaser of a manufacturing company concerning the seller's insurance issues under the Wellington Agreement.
- Represented a national liability insurer in a declaratory judgment action seeking to deny coverage to a pilot for falsifying information to the medical exam officer during the licensing process to fly.
- Represented insurer in a federal declaratory judgment action seeking to deny property loss claim resulting from third-party theft due to late notice to the carrier. The insured alleged it has provided notice through its broker.
- Provided advice to a national sporting association seeking directors & officers coverage to provide a defense in multiple lawsuits. We also worked with the client and insurer to allow the client to select its own law firm to provide a defense in the lawsuits, as opposed to the insurer merely selecting panel counsel.
- Represented a large-scale apartment building owner that was named as an additional insured on its property management company’s insurance policy. In an underlying tenant lawsuit, the property owner sought a defense from the property management company’s insurer, which initially denied coverage. We successfully convinced the insurer to accept coverage and defend the owner.
- Represented large financial institution serving as a co-trustee in negotiating the scope of replacement and actual cash value estimates during the adjusting process for property damage due to trust property assets from a storm causing severe wind damage.
Insurance litigation is expensive when you are dealing with the underlying loss, and trying to handle day-to-day operations with your business. We always strive to find the most efficient and cost-effective solution to your insurance dispute. We work with the opposing insurers to truncate the litigation process if possible in order to obtain quick court rulings so you know if there is coverage or not. We actively use the mediation process, particularly in federal court with the United States Magistrate Judges. We can also negotiate interim solutions with the insurance companies so that you do not violate the terms and conditions of your insurance contract while trying to keep your business and reputation intact.
Lawyers in our Insurance Recovery Group regularly speak and write on a national level for industry organizations including the American Bar Association, Association of Corporate Counsel, RIMS, Lex Mundi, Minority Corporate Counsel Association, and Bloomberg BNA. We also frequently present client seminars and webinars regarding cutting-edge insurance issues. In addition, our team leader, Collin Hite, has been quoted in articles appearing in Insurance Law 360; Virginia Business, Risk and Insurance; P&C National Underwriter; BNA's Corporate Accountability Report; Virginia Business and Business Insurance.
We assist clients with every aspect of insurance, from advice on the appropriate coverage and risk management strategies, to assistance with the claims processing and negotiation, and litigation if necessary. When you require insurance coverage and recovery services, Hirschler Fleischer’s Insurance Recovery Group stands with you to help.