One of the ways that individuals and businesses have traditionally mitigated against various risks is by obtaining insurance. While most individuals typically deal with insurance in the context of car, homeowner’s and renter’s insurance, there are also umbrella policies available to individuals to cover extraordinary losses. Similarly, while businesses will typically have automobile or general liability policies, there are also specialty policies addressing, for example, things like employment practices claims, errors and omissions coverage, fiduciary coverage and/or coverages dealing with computer or internet based fraud. When incidents happen that could implicate these coverages, the individuals and businesses impacted may need assistance from legal counsel to help them determine what coverage they have and when and how to make a claim.
Insurance policies can be lengthy, complex documents. It is important to have lawyers who have experience reading and interpreting these policies. Our lawyers our familiar with how the courts apply various contract interpretation doctrines to insurance policies so as to maximize the coverage available to you. When the policy provisions are confusing or ambiguous, our lawyers understand the arguments that can be made to convince the courts to read the policy so as to benefit the insured and maximize coverage.
Our lawyers can help you understand the coverages available to you under your existing policies and whether you or your business have a valid claim for insurance benefits. If it becomes necessary to sue your insurance company to obtain the benefits you are entitled to, our lawyers have experience handling litigation in both state and federal court against insurance companies. Claims against an insurance company relating to coverage can include both attacking the denial of a claim based on the language of the policy, attacking the amount of benefits the insurance company is willing to pay or pursuing claims relating to an insurance companies delays in processing your claims. Claims against an insurance company can also include claims that the insurance company acted in bad faith in denying your claim, which can include claims for punitive damages and attorneys’ fees.
On occasion, when a claim is submitted to an insurance company, they will bring their own action against the insured in state or federal court seeking a declaration of whether they are required to provide coverage or defend a claim on behalf of the insured. Our attorneys have experience defending these type of claims and making sure you receive everything you are entitled to under your policy, including, if appropriate, the payment of all the attorney fees associated with defending claims that have been brought against you or your business.
In addition to determining whether you have coverage under your current policies, our firm has experience pursuing claims against insurance agents and/or brokers for failing to procure the coverage you had requested. When you hire an insurance agent to purchase coverage, the agent has an obligation to procure for you the coverage you requested or tell you that said coverage is unavailable. If your insurance claim is denied because your insurance agent failed to obtain the coverage you had requested, you may have recourse against that agent.
If you need assistance with an insurance claim, contact a member of our Insurance Claim department for a free consultation.