Beveridge & Diamond
 
Related Practices
Related Practices

Insurance and Policyholder Recovery

Overview

Beveridge & Diamond, P.C. exclusively represents policyholders in coverage disputes with insurance companies.  We have recovered millions of insurance dollars for business clients facing environmental, toxic tort, product, employment and financial liability claims as well as other losses, including business interruption.  We also advise clients on the sufficiency of their insurance programs and negotiate insurance policies to best protect their needs and effectuate transactions.  Our goals are to maximize our clients’ insurance coverage, obtain recovery in the most economical manner possible and utilize insurance creatively in solving clients’ problems.  Our attorneys have years of experience in achieving these results.  We prefer negotiated settlements of disputes with insurance companies but have a proven record of success in coverage litigation when it is necessary. 

Full Description

Beveridge & Diamond has represented numerous corporate and governmental policyholders seeking insurance coverage for bodily injury, property damage, financial loss and other alleged liabilities.  Our clients have included manufacturers in diverse industries such as chemical, oil, tire, building products, pulp and paper, mining, high technology, pharmaceutical, medical device, and alcoholic beverage companies, as well as hotel operators, franchisors, property owners, developers and municipalities.  We have experience pursuing insurance recoveries for international as well as domestic liabilities.

The Firm has obtained insurance recoveries for companies, individuals, trade associations and governmental entities under many different kinds of business insurance policies.  These include comprehensive or commercial general liability (“CGL”), errors and omissions (“E&O”), directors and officers (“D&O”), fiduciary and ERISA, employment practices liability (“EPL”), crime, fidelity, public officials and commercial property insurance policies.  They also include specialty policies, such as media liability and those designed to cover pollution cleanup and liability. 

At the outset of an engagement, we carefully analyze our client’s insurance program and the liabilities for which it may be seeking coverage.  This includes an evaluation of our client’s historical insurance and the identification of lost or missing policies, as well as insolvent or financially troubled insurers in the program.  After we have assessed all potential coverage issues, we present the client with a recommended strategy for insurance recovery.

When feasible, we prefer to negotiate settlements with insurance companies and to avoid litigation.  We have significant experience in preparing insurance claims and negotiating settlements with all major domestic and international carriers, Lloyd’s of London and London Market insurance companies, and in resolving claims through mediation and arbitration.  We also may recommend that a client seek to “monetize” current and projected liabilities by converting older and sometimes forgotten insurance policies into a company asset through negotiation and settlement.

However, we may recommend that coverage litigation is necessary to secure adequate recovery.  Litigation is sometimes required because insurance companies frequently deny meritorious claims, refuse to negotiate meaningful settlements or commence preemptive lawsuits against their policyholders.  Beveridge & Diamond trial lawyers have extensive experience successfully litigating complex insurance coverage cases for policyholders in state and federal courts throughout the nation.  We have developed strategies to manage these cases effectively and to bring about the earliest possible settlement or resolution, including trial if necessary.

In addition, we regularly advise clients on the sufficiency of their insurance programs, audit their coverages and review policy language.  We emphasize a proactive approach by seeking to eliminate the potential for future coverage disputes at the time insurance policies are purchased or renewed.  We spotlight key developments in coverage law and work with our clients and their insurance brokers to ensure that policies contain language best suited to provide adequate protection.  We strive to provide our clients with preventive solutions and enhancements in their insurance programs.

Finally, we advise clients on the creative use of insurance in effectuating transactions.  We have negotiated insurance coverages instrumental to the sale of contaminated properties and the transfer of liabilities relating to such properties.  Moreover, we have counseled clients with respect to critical insurance issues relating to mergers and acquisitions, including the use of existing insurance rights in facilitating such transactions. 

Representative Matters
Representative Matters
  • We have favorably resolved multi-site environmental insurance coverage disputes, achieving recovery for clients in diversified sectors such as the mining, paper and chemical industries.  We have achieved insurance settlements in these cases both with and without coverage litigation.
  • We have successfully obtained coverage for clients facing asbestos and other mass tort liabilities.  Again, we have achieved these results with and without the necessity of litigation.
  • We have negotiated environmental insurance policies instrumental to the sale and transfer of liabilities with respect to contaminated properties.
  • We have prosecuted insurance recovery for major franchisor with respect to claims arising out of hotel development and construction.
  • We secured recovery under property insurance policy for a real estate developer in connection with catastrophic loss.
  • We obtained recovery under directors and officers liability insurance policies for securities and other claims against homebuilder.
  • We have evaluated and negotiated amendments to a $50 million pollution legal liability insurance policy to support transfer of former dry cleaner properties as part of shopping center portfolio deal for large REIT. 
  • We have secured precedent-setting appellate rulings on key coverage issues involving an insurance company’s duty to defend its policyholder, trigger of coverage and allocation.
  • We have maximized our clients’ insurance coverage through favorable court rulings permitting recovery under lost or missing insurance policies.
  • We have successfully thwarted insurance company preemptive litigation tactics against our clients by persuading courts to reject these practices and enforce the policyholder’s  venue preference in coverage disputes. 
  • We have conducted audits and reviews of our clients’ insurance programs, identifying problematic areas and negotiating advantageous policy language providing greater predictability and reducing coverage disputes. 
  • We have successfully negotiated environmental insurance policies, such as cost-cap and pollution legal liability coverages, in connection with the transfer and sale of contaminated properties.