Insurance companies continue to look for ways to preserve capital, manage risk,s and contain costs while seeking innovative methods for staying competitive in a highly-regulated environment through merger and acquisition, or new product lines and service offerings.
For more than 20 years, national and regional insurance companies have trusted the attorneys at Christian & Small to effectively analyze issues, identify risks, and limit exposure for virtually every type of insurance-based matter. Our team of attorneys is experienced in a variety of litigation matters including coverage and duty to defend disputes, professional liability, subrogation and bad faith cases, and directors and officers (D&O) liability matters.
Insurance industry clients rely on our background and knowledge to assess, anticipate, and vigorously defend claims for damages. We have successfully managed hundreds of cases in state, federal, and appellate courts. We are prepared to take a matter from discovery, to summary deposition, or to trial while aggressively protecting the interests of the client.
Members of the Insurance practice group are routinely recognized and ranked by industry peers including:
- Chambers USA
- The Best Lawyers in America®
- Benchmark Litigation
- Super Lawyers®
Catastrophic property loss claims against insurance carriers typically give rise to complex coverage issues involving detailed disputes regarding the timing and cause of the claimed loss; the assessment of reasonable property value; the design and structural sufficiency of damaged buildings and structures; the application of fire and building codes; and related issues. When such a claim is subject to litigation, it is likely to be accompanied by allegations of breach of contract and bad faith.
The team of attorneys at Christian & Small have successfully handled hurricane and other catastrophic loss claims since Hurricane Frederic in 1979, having tried them in state and federal courts. They have successfully participated in mediation, appraisals, and have prevailed in summary judgment in hurricane-spawned lawsuits. In recent years, we have handled claims from Hurricane George, Ivan, Katrina, Michael, and Irma in Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, and Louisiana.
When faced with allegations of bad faith or fraud, insurers not only have to worry about damages specified in the insurance contract, but now plaintiffs can pursue punitive damages for emotional distress that exceed the stated limit of first-party or third-party insurance policies. These extra-contractual damages are awarded in bad faith litigation to punish those cases of willful insurer misconduct. Defending insurance companies against bad faith claims and extra-contractual damages has become more challenging as adverse legal decisions and new plaintiff’s counsel tactics emerge.
The insurance defense lawyers of Christian & Small help insurance carriers and their professionals analyze and understand the legal and business issues involved in processing insurance claims. We recognize that extra-contractual damage awards usually arise from certain claims handling practices, and we endeavor to train our clients to properly process claims, draft denial letters, and identify any red flags or warning signs of impending litigation. Our attorneys have experience working with different insurance lines including auto, life, health, disability, property, homeowners, and directors and officers (D&O) insurance.
When a bad faith complaint is filed, we aggressively defend the insurance company against the claim, preparing for trial but always working toward a prompt and less-costly resolution. We have represented national and regional insurance carriers against some of the following insurance coverage bad faith claims:
- First-party bad faith
- Third-party bad faith
- Statutory bad faith
- Unfair claims settlements
- Institutional bad faith
- Comparative bad faith
- Reverse bad faith