Insurance Law Areas of Concentration
Complex Insurance Coverage Advice & Litigation
The attorneys in our Insurance Law Department have decades of experience representing insurers in complex coverage cases involving first- and third-party personal, commercial, and surplus lines insurance policies, including claims under:
- Commercial General Liability policies
- Personal and commercial motor vehicle policies (including uninsured/underinsured motorist claims and first-party benefit claims)
- Homeowners’ policies
- Errors & Omission policies
- Professional liability policies
- Employment and workers' compensation policies
- Inland marine policies
The group has handled matters involving nearly every type of coverage dispute under primary and excess policies. Our in-depth knowledge of the insurance industry allows us to see the “big picture” of issues facing our clients, to assist in bringing matters large and small to a practical and cost-effective resolution.
We provide clients with:
- Legal counsel and advice as to insurance policy interpretation and application
- Drafting of opinion letters, and disclaimer letters, and reservation of rights letters, with an eye to accurate and complete claims decisions
- Advice on the compliance of policy language and interpretation with statutory and regulatory mandates
Although litigation avoidance is often the goal, when litigation must be considered, we have the tools and experience to obtain desired results in state and federal courts. We represent insurers in declaratory judgment and breach of contract suits, and with our early evaluations, practical advice, and motion and trial experience, we provide sound counsel to our clients about how to best posture a case to meet their goals. Our attorneys frequently collaborate with members of the Firm’s Casualty Litigation and Business Law & Litigation Departments to address complex questions arising from commercial contracts, including issues related to contractual and common law indemnification, as well as disputes relating to catastrophic personal injury and property damage claims.
Representative Matters and Results
- Obtained verdict in favor of Fortune 500 insurance company client in Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, following a trial as to the scope and applicability of the subcontractor exclusion in a commercial general liability policy.
- Successfully secured summary judgment in Eastern District of Pennsylvania—affirmed on appeal to Third Circuit—in favor of business auto liability insurer in breach of contract and bad faith action, where the insurer had no duty to defend or indemnify employee of insured business who was using his personally-owned automobile.
- Secured summary judgment obtained in favor of auto insurer based upon UIM policy exclusion for injury to covered person occupying motor vehicle owned or regularly used by insured.
- Successfully attained summary judgment in Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia on issue involving residency of daughter of insured for purposes of underinsured and personal injury protection coverages in New Jersey policy.
- Obtained summary judgment in declaratory judgment action filed on behalf of insurance company client in connection with claims against the client’s insured arising from property damage due to water intrusion and faulty workmanship.
- Obtained dismissal of action seeking benefits under life insurance policy in Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, based on statute of limitations and scope of assignment grounds.
- Counseled a large commercial insurer regarding coverage for claims against its insured arising from injuries suffered by an undocumented construction worker during the course of his work on the insured’s construction project.
- Counseled insurance company client regarding coverage for claims of property damage and bodily injury due to negligent application of insecticides by exterminator.
- Secured summary judgment in favor of homeowner’s insurer based upon policy exclusion for water damage caused by flooding, where cause of property damage was flood due to failed sump pump drainage system, notwithstanding that lightning strike caused sump pump to fail.
- Negotiated favorable settlement with respect to application of intentional tort exclusion under homeowner’s policy in case involving sexual assault by insured who was highly intoxicated where application of exclusion under circumstances was uncertain.