Insurance Denials & Coverage Disputes
Protect The Coverage You Paid For
L. Bradley Schwartz represented insurance companies for more than 20 years. Mr. Schwartz learned the methods and tactics that insurance companies use to avoid and deny coverage. He also learned the strict laws that govern how insurance companies must treat policyholders.Unfortunately, not all insurance companies always follow the law.
No matter how big or how small the case, most insurance companies would rather deny coverage based on the slightest technicality. It makes no difference that the insured paid premiums for years. If an insurance company wants to avoid covering a claim, they will work very hard to find a reason.
If a policyholder or insured is sued, the insurance company must defend the case even if the allegations in the lawsuit are not true. If an insurance company decides that a claim is not covered because of a policy exclusion or another reason like late notice, noncooperation, or misrepresentation in the application, the insured policyholder has the right to independent counsel and the insurance company must often pay the legal bills.
Reservation Of Rights
The Right To Independent Counsel
Insurance companies looking to deny coverage will often send a “reservation of rights” letter. This is the insurance company’s first step toward denying coverage and there are strict procedures that every insurance company must follow.
If an insurance company informs a policyholder of a decision to investigate or defend a lawsuit under a reservation of rights, that means the insurance company has a conflict of interest.
When “reserving rights to deny or disclaim coverage,” the insurance company is “reserving the right” to pull coverage and stop defending at a later date.
When an insurance company hires lawyers to defend under a “reservation of rights” there is a conflict of interest. When an insurance company hires its own lawyers to defend an insured while seeking to avoid coverage at the same time, the insured has the right to independent counsel and the insurance company must often pay the legal fees if there is a conflict of interest. Insureds who receive a reservation of rights letter should take action to protect themselves from their own insurance companies.
L. Bradley Schwartz worked as trial and claimscounsel for dozens of insurance companies during his legal career. He has also defended numerous policyholders as independent counsel when insurance companies deny coverage or defend subject to a “reservation of rights.”
Declaratory Judgment Lawsuits
Defending Your Right To Coverage
Insurance companies are always looking for a reason to deny coverage. Despite advertising that you are “in good hands” and that you will be treated “like a good neighbor,” insurance companies are in business to make money. They have no problem collecting premiums for years only to deny coverage as soon as a significant loss or accident occurs. Insurance companies, however, can’t simply refuse to defend an insured.
The law requires insurance companies to file a lawsuit called a Complaint For Declaratory Judgment. A Declaratory Judgment Lawsuit asks the court to decide that an insurance company is not required to defend an insured or pay a claim. Insureds who are served with a Complaint For Declaratory Judgment should seek immediate legal assistance from an attorney who understands insurance law. L. Bradley Schwartz worked for insurance companies for more than 20 years. Today, he uses his knowledge of the system to defend policyholders against unwarranted and illegal insurance coverage denials.
Is Your Insurance Lawyer Working You?
Protect Against Conflicts Of Interest
When an insured gets sued, the insurance company is required to hire lawyers to defend the insured in court. Most insurance companies have their favorite law firms that they routinely assign to represent their policyholders. Usually, there is no problem with the lawyer chosen by the insurance company. Sometimes, however, the insurance company lawyers have a conflict of interest and the defense attorney chosen by the insurance company cannot properly represent the insured unless the insured knowingly consents to representation by the attorney. Absent proper explanations of the conflict by the insurer and informed consent given by the insured, the insurer must pay the fees of the defense attorney selected by the insured.
L. Bradley Schwartz has more than 20 years experience representing insurance companies and policyholders as independent counsel when insurance companies deny coverage, refuse to defend or defends subject to a reservation of rights.