The GRSLB&G Insurance Coverage Practice Group provides representation and counsel to insurance companies, insurers, brokers, agents, producers, corporations, individuals, and other business clients. We are organized to respond to the demands of the modern day insurance industry where unique issues involving novel causes of action give rise to disputes between insurers and their policy holders with respect to all lines of coverage. We have over 50 years of experience in advising an increasingly sophisticated insurance industry clientele on the intricacies of insurance law.
Our vast experience ranges from the defense of multi-million dollar environmental claims to primary coverage for automobile accidents. Our insurance coverage expertise covers the entire spectrum of policy types, including comprehensive general liability (“CGL”), errors and omissions (“E&O”), directors and officers (“D&O”), automobile, first party property, fire, homeowners, life and health, for both defense and prosecution of coverage suits.
Some of the coverage areas include:
- Risk Management Consultation
- Extra Contractual Damage (Bad Faith)
- Subrogation / Recovery
- Property Ownership & Control
- Excess & Umbrella Coverage
- Insurance Fraud
- Fire & Other Property Losses
- Errors & Omissions
- Directors & Officers
- Employment Practices Liability
- Commercial General Liability
- Product Liability
- Agents & Brokers
- Advertising Injury
Our attorneys in the Insurance Coverage Practice Group try cases before judges, juries, have argued cases before the New Jersey Appellate Division, and the United States District Court and the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. In addition to our litigation experience, our lawyers publish articles and lecture to industry groups, including E&O+ and the Defense Research Institute. In addition to litigation, we provide coverage opinions when claims for coverage are made for suit. We are accustomed to guiding our clients through the possibilities of denying coverage, defending under a reservation of rights, or accepting coverage.
We have extensive experience representing the insurance industry in matters involving questions of coverage and defense of claims, including allegation of Bad Faith which would be defined as an unreasonable denial of an insurance claim by an insurance company. Bad faith claims against insurers are routinely based on denial of a defense and indemnification; allegations of failure to settle; untimely offers of settlement; unfair claims practices; failure to timely investigate claims, and misrepresentations of actual coverages.
Bad Faith Litigation
An unfortunate result of the contentious nature of modern coverage disputes is that bad faith claims have become a common aspect in many of these cases. We have extensive experience in both counseling and defending our insurance clients on bad faith and unfair claims practices violations.
GRSLB&G has been involved in all aspects of bad faith litigation. Recently, through several cases, we have been at the forefront of the developing category of bad faith litigation concerning the duties owed by primary to excess insurance carriers. We are actively involved in this rapidly evolving area of law so that we may effectively defend our insurance clients.
GRSLB&G works aggressively to maximize recovery on behalf of our clients, and handles claims that involve both large and small losses. Our attorneys have handled matters arising from the following casualties:
- Fire and explosion
- Product failure
- Vehicle collisions
- Personal injury resulting in PIP payments
- Workers compensation
- Residential and commercial property damage
We are mindful of our client’s concerns with cost containment in this area and, as a result, we have encouraged payment methods including traditional contingency and hourly basis.
Risk Management Consultation
At GRSLB&G, we assist our clients with risk management and litigation avoidance strategies to help our clients prevent claims before they arise. Our services include contract negotiation, contract preparation and review, counseling before and during construction projects, advising our clients of current developments in the law, business structuring and practices, insurance needs and adequacy of coverage, and other necessary services to ensure the best possible claim avoidance.
Clients can become involved in litigation through a subpoena for testimony or through a demand for production of documents, without actually being named in litigation. In some cases, our clients are aware of a claim lingering on the horizon which has not yet found its way to the court system. Our intention is to keep clients from being included in a costly litigation process through pre-claim assistance. We also assess the potential for liability and exposure in the event that litigation is inevitable. We counsel our clients how to respond to such pre-litigation demands, represent their interests during depositions, and develop a strategy as to how best to either avoid or respond to potential litigation.
Another significant aspect of our insurance group is our reinsurance practice, which has developed extensively over the past 30 years. The attorneys at GRSLB&G handle a wide variety of reinsurance disputes with stakes into the hundreds of millions of dollars. Our diverse representations have given us a thorough familiarity with and understanding of issues peculiar to reinsurance claims, including (1) the custom and practice of facultative and treaty placements, (2) the function, role and importance of reinsurance intermediaries, (3) the structure of reinsurance and retrocessional programs and (4) the ceding and collection of reinsurance recoverables. We have arbitrated or litigated many of the coverage issues that typically arise in connection with reinsurance claims including occurrence, trigger, follow the fortunes, extra-contractual loss, late notice, and good faith. We have also developed extensive experience in the appropriate allocation of underlying claims to reinsurance treaties.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is an extension of car insurance that covers medical expenses and, in some cases, lost wages and other damages. PIP is sometimes referred to as “no-fault” coverage, because the statutes enacting it are generally known as no-fault laws, and PIP is designed to be paid without regard to “fault,” or more properly, legal liability. PIP coverage may vary from state to state in terms of both what is covered and what types of treatments are considered customary and reasonable. PIP coverage covers medical expenses up to $250,000 but individuals can elect to have lower PIP coverage. Individuals can also opt to have their personal health insurance cover them under the auto policy. However, the health insurance plan may not cover auto accidents and may not provide coverage for all family members.
UM / UIM
GRSLB&G provides legal representation of insurance companies in Uninsured Motorist (UM) claims and Underinsured Motorist (UIM) claims. Our broad experience in the litigation of automobile related insurance matters provides us with an ever expanding background for our representation of insurance carriers in connection with the binding arbitration procedures to resolve UM/UIM claims.