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Practice Highlights

  • A national reputation, particularly in the area of complex and emerging coverage issues
  • Understanding of coverage nuances and the nuts and bolts of policy interpretation
  • Industry-leading professionals dedicated to clients and the insurance industry as a whole

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Insurance Coverage and Bad Faith

Insurance companies face major challenges in the ever-changing arena of insurance coverage. Complex coverage issues, significant underlying claims, the involvement of multiple parties and the potential for protracted litigation require claims professionals to turn to lawyers who have a comprehensive understanding of coverage nuances—as well as the “nuts and bolts” of policy interpretation—to secure the most favorable outcome. 

The Insurance Coverage and Bad Faith Group has been servicing the insurance industry for decades and has established a national reputation, particularly in the area of complex and emerging coverage issues. Our group is comprised of  industry-leading professionals with real-world experience that enables us to understand the challenges our clients face in this highly regulated arena. We counsel clients on coverage questions, partner with claim professionals in investigating and handling sensitive claims and represent carriers in prosecuting and defending coverage and bad faith actions in federal and state courts and through other forms of alternative dispute resolution. Among our clients are major property and casualty insurers, and smaller regional insurance companies, for whom we do work on a national or regional basis.

We are in the forefront representing clients in complex and emerging coverage matters involving issues that continue to challenge insurers and which have been hotly contested by policyholders.  These matters include coverage for:

  • asbestos
  • advertising injury
  • antitrust
  • bad faith
  • construction defect
  • drugs and medical devices
  • environmental pollution
  • employment practices
  • ERISA
  • intellectual property
  • mortgage insurance
  • residual value leases
  • personal and product disparagement
  • professional liability
  • public entities
  • TCPA
  • technology and trade secret misappropriation
  • toxic tort
  • transportation liability

Often times, we collaborate with lawyers from our varied practice groups who also advise the insurance industry.

We are not only dedicated to our clients, but to the insurance industry as a whole. Many of our lawyers have held leadership positions in various insurance-related associations, including the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel (FDCC), DRI, Professional Liability Underwriting Society (PLUS) and Lawyers for Civil Justice.

In order to help our clients keep pace with the multitude of new and challenging issues that arise, we regularly speak and write on topics of interest to the insurance industry. In 2007, we developed Coverage College®, the firm’s premier educational program for insurance claims professionals and one of the largest programs of its kind in the country. Each year more than 450 professionals from across the country gather for a day-long program which includes master-level educational programs, breakout sessions and networking opportunities. Classes are taught by a “faculty” of over 30 lawyers from White and Williams. We regularly publish “Binding Authority,” an email newsletter that provides summaries and in-depth analysis of just-issued significant insurance coverage decisions. 

Bad Faith and Extra-Contractual Liability Group

In high-stakes coverage litigation, policyholders increasingly assert claims of bad faith and extra-contractual liability against their insurers.  The attorneys in the Bad Faith and Extra-Contractual Liability Group have years of experience in defending  insurance carriers against these allegations.  Our understanding of the insurance industry and extensive trial skills have enabled us to successfully counsel our clients to avoid bad faith claims in the first place or to take a matter to trial if those claims cannot  be otherwise resolved.  When punitive and bad faith damages are on the line, it is critical to have attorneys who understand your  business and have the skill set necessary to focus discovery and aggressively litigate a matter to conclusion, if necessary.

We have an active bad faith and extra-contractual practice that involves counseling, and litigating on behalf of, insurers around the country.   Our experience in bad faith and extra-contractual matters is extensive and diverse.  We cost effectively handle extra-contractual disputes involving general liability, life, health and disability, business auto, property, liquor liability, construction, directors & officers, professional liability including architect and engineers, municipal liability and school errors & omissions.  Our practice includes litigation in state and federal trial and appellate courts, as well as extensive experience in mediation and other types of ADR.

Our experienced lawyers provide significant bad faith avoidance counseling at the claim level for  over 40 insurance company clients. We  regularly speak on punitive damages, bad faith and bad faith avoidance before industry and professional  groups including FDCC, Coverage College, ABA , Tort Trial and Insurance Section, CLM, The Institutes, ACI, CPCU  and client-requested seminars.  We also hold a Board of Regents seat at the American College of Coverage and Extra-Contractual Counsel.

Representative Matters

  • Numerous significant jury and bench trials, including but not limited to, multiphase environmental coverage matters involving manufactured gas plants, other plant sites, waste disposal sites/landfills, as well as confirmation hearings in bankruptcy court
  • Successful appeals, including issues of first impression, such as adoption of pro rata allocation under both Massachusetts law and New York; limitation of allocation to portion of policy period “triggered”; no coverage for extension of policy period; dismissal of claims against excess insurers as a result of insured’s “selection” of primary insurers/pro rata allocation under Ohio law; dismissal of claim seeking unaggregated coverage for asbestos-related bodily injury claims
  • Representation of a group of property-casualty insurers who are signatories to the landmark “Wellington Agreement”
  • Limiting attempts by underlying claimants and/or policyholders to pursue direct claims against or get broad declaratory relief from insurers in New Jersey and Pennsylvania 
  • Successful arbitrations enforcing releases under settlement agreements 

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