Insurance business interruption coverage has terms, philosophies, and calculations which are foreign to many. Lawyers for insurers will often challenge me by asking for a case which says their interpretation for some practice is wrong while looking for every manner “to win” by paying as little as possible. This mindset is what lead to a number of judges being duped into believing and ruling that the insurance industry meant that a business had to completely shut down in order to prove that business operations were “suspended.”
Continue Reading Suspension of Business Was Never Intended to Mean Total Cessation of Business Operations—Insurance Lawyers Duping Judges into Wrong Insurance Contract Interpretations

When an insurance company receives notice of a claim, there are a number of individuals who will ultimately work on or handle the claim in one way or another. Insurance companies, like many other types of corporate entities, typically have a hierarchy of employees. Claims departments, in particular, are made up of a number of different individuals with varying titles and responsibilities. The varying levels of personnel involved with a claim might shed some light on the manner in which the claim was handled and whether it was handled properly. In a bad faith case, a policyholder’s attorney should be aware, not only of the people who handled the claim at issue, but also of the lines of authority and reporting procedures for those claims personnel.

Continue Reading How an Organization Chart Can be Useful in Bad Faith Cases

In Plaintiffs are Entitled to the Claims File in a Bad Faith Lawsuit, The Big Picture in Discovery of Insurer Claims Practices, Overcoming Work Product Objections that Relate to an Insurer’s Claims Investigation, and Reserves Are Important in Insurance Coverage and Bad Faith Claim Disputes, I addressed different kinds of documents that policyholders’ attorneys should seek from an insurance company in a bad faith action. Documents that are frequently the subject of heated discovery battles in bad faith actions include, among other things, an insurance company’s claims file and training manuals and documents regarding employee performance evaluations and incentives. Insurance companies typically prepare these manuals to train their employees to make certain that they are complying with the carrier’s business goals, as well as with applicable statutes and regulations. Similarly, some insurers also prepare manuals to assist their agents and provide guidance as to how the insurer wants things done.

Continue Reading How Obtaining Manuals for Insurance Agents Can Help in a Bad Faith Case

I dedicated my posts these last few weeks to discussing how to obtain information on an insured’s prior claims or other insureds’ similar claims. There are a few other things that policyholders’ attorneys should keep in mind when seeking this kind of information through discovery in a bad faith case.

Continue Reading How to Overcome a “Burdensome” Objection When Seeking Information on Similar or Prior Claims

Most of you are familiar with the concept of reserves. How many of you are familiar with the role of reserves in a bad faith case? Is this type of information even discoverable? Although it might not sound terribly significant, it is an important factor that should be evaluated and which many attorneys may overlook.

Continue Reading Reserves Are Important in Insurance Coverage and Bad Faith Claim Disputes

Safeco Insurance Company cancelled depositions in a Texas insurance litigation matter yesterday. So, we spent the day working on Safeco and Liberty Mutual Insurance Company discovery and networking with other consumer attorneys who are helping clients with Safeco and Liberty Mutual claims problems. The collegiality of policyholder attorneys helping each other is refreshing. The Texas plaintiff’s bar is very good at this.

Continue Reading Learning Obligations of Good Faith Insurance Claims Conduct and Litigation Strategies Through Safeco and Liberty Mutual Examples

Charles Miller is one of the most hardworking and dedicated students of American claim practices today. He recently published an article in the Connecticut Insurance Law Journal regarding claims practice testimony in bad faith cases. For practitioners, it is a must read.

Continue Reading Charles Miller’s Article Is A Must Read Regarding a Claims Practice Expert’s Value in Insurance Cases