Insurance Coverage Litigation
Corporations commonly purchase highly sophisticated insurance policies that cover property, casualty, theft, errors and omissions, employment liability, business interruption, environmental mishaps, and even officers’ and directors’ liability in corporate governance.
Each year, billions of dollars are paid by insurers to businesses to cover legitimate claims. Attorneys are key to this process, and are often called upon to provide interpretation and opinions about exposure and coverage. When disputes over interpretation and coverage arise - as they sometimes do - attorneys are retained by each side to provide advocacy and support in a process that inevitably leads to resolution.
When a business entity or individual purchases insurance, they rely upon their insurance broker for guidance as to the best type of policy and coverage for their needs. Oftentimes, after suffering a loss and filing a claim, the insured is advised that their claim has been denied by the insurance company. At that point the insured has the right to dispute the denied claim and would need to engage an attorney to help negotiate an equitable resolution. Insurance policies are complex documents that are too often open to interpretation. Michael Faul, Jr., regularly reviews policies for clients identifying gaps in coverage, limits, and exclusions, to avoid possible disputes in case of a potentially catastrophic loss which could have a significant impact to business operations and profits. As a proactive measure, Michael Faul, Jr., advocates that clients have him review policy terms and conditions at the time policies are renewed each year and not wait until a loss happens when it is often too late to recover from a loss that may or may not be insured. CFO’s in corporations and those charged with insurance and risk oversight need to be vigilant in risk management and risk avoidance. Michael Faul, Jr., is the go-to legal professional to counsel clients on policy placement, risk avoidance and finding the right brokers to place the risk. He regularly collaborates with brokers on various insurance matters on behalf of clients.
INSURANCE RISK MANAGEMENT FOR TRUSTS, ESTATES AND FIDUCIARIES
I’ve identified seven key areas of which you need to be aware if you are an executor, trustee, and/or other fiduciary. These often complex areas of insurance coverage may need to be addressed periodically to protect assets for which you are responsible.
Mr. Faul has published a number of articles covering insurance litigation issues and strategies and has been a commercial litigator for over 30 years. He has considerable experience in litigating coverage disputes involving a variety of insurance policies. These include:
- Directors & Officers (D&O)
- Errors & Omissions (E&O)
- Fiduciary liability
- Broker negligence
- Commercial, property and casualty
- Theft & embezzlement
- Public officials and employment liability
- Professional liability
Mr. Faul and his experienced staff have in-depth knowledge of New Jersey's laws, statutes and regulations relating to the duty to defend, claims handling, claims discovery, policy form approval and regulation, bad faith, New Jersey's Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act and other coverage issues, and have engaged in many insurance dispute resolutions for policy holders.
Insurance Coverage for Corporations
Corporations cannot afford to have their insurance claims denied, delayed or underpaid. Mr. Faul's firm has obtained millions of dollars in recoveries from major national insurance companies, brokers and agents on behalf of policyholder clients. Mr. Faul provides counsel on all phases of complex insurance claims and ensures the proper and prompt presentment of claims, often utilizing nationally recognized experts in the field. He engages in negotiated alternative means of resolution, including mediation and arbitration. When necessary, Mr. Faul retains prominent state and federal judges and litigates significant insurance coverage disputes in state and federal courts.
A corporation served with a subpoena may not be the direct target of the investigation but third parties whom the corporation conducts business with may be the target. There may be insurance coverage available even though the corporation or its officers or employees are not necessarily the target. Insurance coverage may also be available for a corporation's voluntary compliance/cooperation with governmental agencies and internal investigations. These investigations can go on for years and are extremely costly. Investigations may be initiated formally or informally through subpoenas, search warrants, informal requests for documents and witness interviews, civil investigation demands (CID's) or administrative orders.
Mr. Faul views corporations to be underserved in terms of their ability to maximize insurance claims recovery. Based on his experience litigating insurance claims for policyholders, he believes that many policyholders do not fully understand the potential for insurance companies to underpay, delay and/or deny legitimate claims. Mr. Faul and his associates have the skill, resources and experience to match the tenacity that large insurance companies deploy in responding to claims. Mr. Faul interprets insurance clauses and successfully searches for nuances and ambiguities in policy language. Corporate policyholder success at this level requires special experience, the ability to win complex claims cases with a professional claims team and witnesses with insurance industry experience.