In an earlier posting, I discussed the benefit of working with an an attorney that understands the ins and outs of insurance coverage. I want to add more to this sentiment because it is that important. Make sure your attorney has an understanding and appreciation of insurance!
I am am big proponent of maximizing insurance coverage. If I represent a plaintiff seeking insurance proceeds, then maximizing insurance coverage is obviously important. And, if I represent a defendant that is relying on insurance coverage to pay a plaintiff’s claim, maximizing insurance coverage is equally important. How is a claim going to be paid? An important question for all parties. This requires obtaining insurance policies and understanding insurance coverage, which in my opinion, is always in a client’s best interest.
There are times when I am involved in a dispute where the other side perhaps does not recognize the value of maximizing insurance coverage. I do not get this mindset or strategic style, whatever the case may be.
If you are a plaintiff looking to maximize a defendant’s liability policy, you want to notify the insurer and strategically plead allegations in your complaint to trigger the insurer’s duty to defend the defendant. Why? Because you want the insurer to be involved–you are looking to maximize insurance coverage to pay your claim.
If you are a defendant, you want to make sure you flow any liability downstream to those that may be liable. This means maximizing arguments as an additional insured under others’ liability policies and tendering the defense to them. Meanwhile, you also want to preserve rights to maximize coverage under your own liability policy. This is not a sign of weakness and by no means serves as a concession of the liability asserted against you. Instead, it is the prudent thing by ensuring there is insurance to cover the liability and associated damages asserted against you.
If you are an insured with a first-party claim against your insurer (e.g., property insurer), you want to know what your rights are on the fronted regarding coverage under your insurance policy. This is important since you are likely looking to the insurer to pay your claim.
If you are an insured that had an insurer deny a claim, you want to make sure you understand why so you can perfect your rights moving forward. The denial of a claim can severely and detrimentally impact your rights. In this instance, you need to know how to strategically plan and proceed moving forward.
This all boils down to working with an attorney that understands the ins and outs of insurance coverage. Don’t be afraid to ask your attorney about insurance coverage–it is the smart thing to do!
Please contact David Adelstein at firstname.lastname@example.org or (954) 361-4720 if you have questions or would like more information regarding this article. You can follow David Adelstein on Twitter @DavidAdelstein1.