Insurance Coverage & Bad Faith
Posternak has successfully resolved many complex insurance coverage and bad faith cases since the firm’s founding in 1980. The Insurance Coverage Group is staffed by attorneys who try major coverage cases for insurers and who have extensive experience in providing prompt and comprehensive coverage opinions.
Our attorneys regularly advise a number of insurance company clients about avoiding bad faith claims. Initially, we provide coverage opinions. When needed, we represent the insurer’s interest by monitoring the underlying case. At later stages, we bring declaratory judgment actions or, if an insurer is sued directly, we defend the insurer.
Posternak fully understands the importance of prompt and concise case budgeting and reporting. We follow each client’s specific litigation management, budget, and billing guidelines. We report to our clients at regular intervals and, in any event, upon the happening of any significant development. We appreciate completely that there should be no surprises as cases proceed through litigation toward trial or settlement. We work closely with our clients in the review and evaluation of their cases as they evolve and as additional facts are uncovered, a process which often provides opportunities to engage in settlement negotiations or alternative dispute resolution.
- Successfully argued the case in which the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court limited the duty owed by a primary carrier to an excess carrier, in the conduct of settlement negotiations, to one of good faith, not of due care.
- Successfully argued the case in which the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit held that a carrier issuing a claims-made policy is not required, under Rhode Island law, to show prejudice in order to deny coverage on the grounds of late notice.
- In another case in which we represented the insurer, the First Circuit held that notice received after the expiration of a claims-made policy was not timely, even though the insurer received the notice during the period of a subsequent, consecutive policy.
- Acted as counsel for the Insurance Environmental Litigation Association (IELA) in an important case in which the Supreme Judicial Court held that an insurer’s breach of the duty to defend does not obligate the insurer to indemnify the insured without recourse to available coverage defenses.
- Acted as counsel for the IELA in a case in which the Supreme Judicial Court construed the applicability of the “sudden and accidental” pollution exclusion to allegations concerning the insured’s activities as a transporter of hazardous waste.
- Acted as coverage counsel for one of several insurers in connection with the negotiated settlement of a $52 million securities fraud claim.
- Represented an insurer in coverage litigation arising from over a hundred claims of clergy sexual abuse of minors brought against an insured catholic diocese.
Our clients include
Fireman’s Fund/Interstate Insurance Company
Hanover Insurance Company
Lawyers Protective Plan
Markel Underwriting Managers, Inc.
Shand, Morahan & Company, Inc.
Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London