An insurance carrier has declined to defend a claim asserted against its insured, arguably without meeting its obligation to investigate the claim. For whatever reason— a change in personnel, loss of a file, or some other motivation—the carrier has done little, if anything, to investigate the claim tendered to it: no Google search, no phone calls, and very little factual investigation other than the information tendered by the insured. The carrier has, however, relied on the plain language of the policy, and the few facts of which it was aware supported its denial.

But when a court later finds that the carrier’s coverage position was wrong— the facts in existence created a potential for coverage and hence triggered the carri­er’s duty to defend—the insured may argue that its carrier’s failure to investigate sup­ports a finding that it breached the implied warranty of good faith and fair dealing; that is, the insurer acted in bad faith. Continue Reading The Ramifications of a Less-Than-Thorough Investigation

Farella’s Insurance Recovery Group lawyers regularly collaborate with and learn from different players and functions within the insurance industry. To provide more value to our readers, we have reached out to a series of insurance brokers to create the Insurance Broker Series Q&A.

Our latest installment is with Manpreet Gill, Managing Director, Communications, Media & Technology Practice Leader, Western Region with MarshContinue Reading Insurance Broker Series: Manpreet Gill, Marsh

Before worrying about an insurance claim, first ensure that you and your family, including pets and extended family, have their immediate needs met, particularly medical needs. When you are ready to begin the recovery process, we have outlined a few steps for you to take in working with your insurers to ensure that you receive the maximum benefits under any applicable policies. Continue Reading Steps and Resources to Recover Homeowner Insurance Benefits After a Fire: A Tip-Sheet for Homeowner / Small Business Insurance Claims

We hope you, your families and friends are safe from the fires raging in various northern San Francisco Bay counties right now. The devastation can feel overwhelming to those who are personally affected by the fires. We want you to know that we’re thinking of you and our community during this difficult time. We’ll post again later in the week as the situation develops and when those affected are able to begin thinking about recovery.

Farella’s Insurance Recovery Group lawyers regularly collaborate with and learn from different players and functions within the insurance industry.  To provide more value to our readers, we have reached out to a series of insurance brokers to create the Insurance Broker Series Q&A.Gardner Jones

Our latest installment is with Gardner Jones, Vice President with ABD Insurance and Financial Services. Continue Reading Insurance Broker Series: Gardner Jones, ABD Insurance and Financial Services

Farella’s Insurance Recovery Group lawyers regularly collaborate with and learn from different players and functions within the insurance industry. To provide more value to our readers, we have reached out to a series of insurance brokers to create the Insurance Broker Series Q&A.

Stephen Leveroni

Our latest installment is with Stephen E. Leveroni, Executive Vice President / Founding Principal of ABD Insurance and Financial Services.

Continue Reading Insurance Broker Series: Stephen Leveroni, ABD Insurance and Financial Services

Farella’s Insurance Recovery Group lawyers regularly collaborate with and learn from different players and functions within the insurance industry.  To provide more value to our readers, we have reached out to a series of insurance brokers to create the Insurance Broker Series Q&A.Cris Christensen

Our latest installment is with Cris Christensen, Senior Claims Consultant with ABD Insurance and Financial Services. Continue Reading Insurance Broker Series: Cris Christensen, ABD Insurance and Financial Services

Farella’s Insurance Recovery Group lawyers regularly collaborate with and learn from different players and functions within the insurance industry. To provide more value to our readers, we have reached out to a series of insurance brokers to create the Insurance Broker Series Q&A.

Our first installment is with Winnie Van, Claims Counsel, SVP and Principal of ABD Insurance and Financial Services.

Continue Reading Insurance Broker Series: Winnie Van, ABD Insurance and Financial Services

people talking in front of a courthouseA recent case we handled highlights the importance of reading a complaint’s allegations very carefully. Competitors in high-stakes litigation may file complaints and cross-complaints against each other alleging a variety of intellectual property violations and business torts. These may include patent or copyright infringement, attempted monopolization, unfair competition and interference with contractual relations. On their face, none of these are likely to be covered by commercial insurance. But competitors often cannot resist alleging every conceivable harm, and this may include asserting that the defendant (or cross-defendant) has disparaged the plaintiff to customers and the public. Most general liability policies cover disparagement as part of the “personal and advertising injury” coverage. In California, the broad duty to defend results in valuable coverage for attorneys’ fees and costs in what would otherwise be uncovered litigation. Continue Reading Disparagement Allegations May Trigger Valuable Coverage

Clients regularly ask their counsel to propose alternative fee arrangements and they are growing in popularity. While these arrangements can be beneficial for clients, they should be carefully considered when an insurance company will be paying all or part of the defense fees. Insurers are typically averse to alternative fee arrangements; they are more comfortable with a straight hourly arrangement – after trying to impose rate caps and litigation guidelines of course. Carriers have ingrained methods of managing defense costs and negotiating bespoke alternative arrangements with individual insureds is not cost-effective or efficient for a claims adjuster dealing with dozens or even hundreds of cases. Accordingly, insureds may need to accept more traditional fee deals when retaining counsel that will ultimately be paid by the insurer. Continue Reading Alternative Fee Arrangements When the Insurer Is Footing the Bill