Insurance Litigation (Policyholders)

Our practice includes representation of insurance policyholders in coverage disputes with their insurer under general liability, property, professional liability, businessowners and homeowners policies. We advise clients on potential coverage (utilizing both obvious and creative policy interpretations), duty to defend and indemnify, exclusions and other defenses, policy obligations, reservation of rights letters, right to independent counsel, and potential bad faith claims.

In each case our goal is to obtain maximum coverage in a time and cost effective manner. We have successfully litigated claims that

  • an insurer, under a commercial general liability (CGL) policy, owed its insured a duty to defend it in a wrongful death action, requiring the insurer to pay in excess of $250,000 for the fees and costs of the insured’s independent counsel (our firm).
  • the costs of defense under a CGL policy include the costs incurred by an insured in pursuing third-party actions against parties potentially liable in underlying litigation. This federal district court ruling appears to be the first of its kind in Illinois.
  • service providers were contractually obligated to defend their customer, requiring them to reimburse customer for its pre-litigation investigative costs and attorneys’ fees.
  • insurers were liable for breaching first-party property (homeowners) policies that resulted from their refusal to pay for property damage and related costs incurred by respective policyholders.
  • a professional liability insurer owed insured a duty to defend it in negligence action brought by municipal customer.
  • insurer was liable for breaching businessowners policy issued to dental office that resulted from insurer’s refusal to pay for property damage and related costs incurred by policyholder.
  • settled claim with third party’s liability insurer (no suit filed) that third party was liable for client’s significant personal injuries suffered in bicycle accident.
  • settled claim with client’s insurer (no suit filed) that insurer was liable for breaching client’s businessowners policy and delaying adjustment of claim that resulted from insurer’s untimely refusal to pay for property damage and related costs incurred by client.  Also settled claim with client’s tenant’s insurer (no suit filed) that tenant was liable to client-landlord for negligently causing fire damage, failing to preserve evidence.

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