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BT Policyholder Protection Blog
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11 Oct 2016 When the Damage is Done Are You Prepared to Litigate Against Your Insurance Company?

In the wake of Hurricane Matthew, there will certainly be a wave of claims and possible denials of coverage by insurance companies.  Before the storm hit, we heard a great deal about “preparedness” for the storm.  But, how prepared is your company if it has to litigate a claim against its insurance company?  Litigation against any party is often a costly and lengthy process.  Insurance coverage disputes are no different and often involve more aggressive tactics by the insurance company early in the case.   Here are some best practices for companies facing insurance coverage denials:   Re-review the denial letter and consider whether litigation is the best strategy You may want to consider other tactics against the insurance company, like using renewal time or…

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21 Apr 2015 UPDATE: Georgia Supreme Court Sides with Insurer in Settlement Rights Fight

I previously reported that the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit had certified questions to the Supreme Court of Georgia regarding the rights of an insurer to refuse to consent to a settlement and, thereby, absolve itself of any payment obligation for any settlement entered into by the policyholder. See Piedmont Office Realty Trust v. XL Specialty Ins. Co., No. 14-11987 (11th Cir. Oct. 21, 2014). On April 20, 2015, the Supreme Court of Georgia sided with the insurer. See Piedmont Office Realty Trust v. XL Specialty Ins. Co., No. S15Q0418 (Ga. Apr. 20, 2015). The opinion creates a Hobson’s choice for policyholders wishing to settle underlying lawsuits, even in cases where those insurers expressly agreed in their policies that they would…

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13 Apr 2015 Indiana Court of Appeals Opinion Supports Recovery of Expenses Incurred by Policyholder in Assisting Carrier in Defending an Insured Lawsuit

Defending a lawsuit can be a costly and time-consuming affair for a company, even when its liability carrier is providing and paying for a complete defense. The company’s obligation to cooperate with its carrier in the defense of the suit may include devoting significant employee time and company resources to gathering documents, assisting in discovery responses and preparing and appearing for depositions and trial.   A recent Indiana Court of Appeals opinion suggests that under certain policy language and in certain circumstances, companies may be entitled to reimbursement from their carriers for the cost of cooperating with these defense-related requests.   In T.R. Bulger, Inc., et al. v. Indiana Ins. Co., Case No. 46A03-1405-PL-188 (Ind. Ct. App. Mar. 9, 2015), the policyholder, an HVAC company,…

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04 Nov 2014 Know Your Rights: Policyholders’ Defense and Settlement Rights

In Piedmont Office Realty Trust v. XL Specialty Ins. Co., No. 14-11987 (11th Cir. Oct. 21, 2014), the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit certified questions to the Supreme Court of Georgia regarding the extent to which an insurance company was bound by a settlement to which it refused to consent. This case represents one of an increasing number of disputes between policyholders and their insurance companies over the defense and settlement of underlying lawsuits. Having lost the battle to narrow the scope of their defense and settlement obligations in many states, insurance companies appear to have opened a new front:  attempting to reduce the cost of their defense and settlement obligations.  This may take the form of refusing to consent to…

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