Raleigh Business Insurance Coverage – D&O, E&O, CGL Policies
Insurance Coverage Declaratory Judgment:
Insurers will frequently rely on exclusions in a policy and either reserve all rights regarding denial of claims or deny coverage based on an exclusion which is ambiguously written and tenuous as to its applicability. If an insurer has denied coverage based on an inapplicable exclusion, Maginnis Law, PLLC can initiate a declaratory judgment action which asks a Court to determine whether coverage applies or not.
Duty to Defend and Third Party Claims:
As companies grow, litigation is an unfortunate additional complication that is often inevitable. Insurance companies owe their business policy holders a duty to defend against lawsuits brought against their insurers and also have a duty to pay covered claims asserted against their policy holders. Often insurers will reserve rights as to coverage or initiate a separate declaratory judgment action against their own policy holder subjected to a civil litigation lawsuit which should be covered by the D&O, E&O, or CGL policies. Maginnis Law can assist policy holders in litigating first-party or third-party insurance claims in these instances.
Business interruption coverage or business income coverage applies when the business must be closed or shut down for a period following a covered claim such as a fire, hurricane or other damaging act. This coverage is typically included into a CGL or other business related policy. Business owners are eligible to recover lost profits and other damages during the time where their company is shut down. Maginnis Law can assist companies in enforcing these policies to maximize your insurance coverage recovery under these clauses.
Insurance Bad Faith:
Although it is difficult to prove in North Carolina, an insurer could be held liable for punitive damages if they act in bad faith in response to your insurance coverage claim. Policy holders are entitled to punitive damages for bad faith refusal to settle when there is (1) a refusal to pay after recognition of a valid claim; (2) bad faith; and (3) aggravating or outrageous conduct. Punitive damages allow a jury to award up to $250,000 or three times your actual damages, whichever is higher.
Unfair Claims Handling:
North Carolina also has a statute defining certain unfair claims handling acts. If an insurance adjuster has engaged in any of these acts, you may be able to recover under a claim known as “unfair and deceptive trade practices.” If a jury determines that the insurer engaged in unfair and deceptive trade practices, your actual damages directly caused by those unscrupulous practices are automatically tripled. You may also recover your attorneys’ fees. Examples of unfair claims handling acts include:
(1) Misrepresenting pertinent facts or insurance policy provisions relating to coverages at issue;
(2) Failing to acknowledge and act reasonably promptly upon communications with respect to claims arising under insurance policies;
(3) Refusing to pay claims without conducting a reasonable investigation based upon all available information;
(4) Failing to affirm or deny coverage of claims within a reasonable time after proof‑of‑loss statements have been completed;
(5) Not attempting in good faith to effectuate prompt, fair and equitable settlements of claims in which liability has become reasonably clear;
(6) Compelling [the] insured to institute litigation to recover amounts due under an insurance policy by offering substantially less than the amounts ultimately recovered in actions brought by such insured;
(7) Attempting to settle a claim for less than the amount to which a reasonable man would have believed he was entitled;
(8) Failing to promptly provide a reasonable explanation of the basis in the insurance policy in relation to the facts or applicable law for denial of a claim or for the offer of a compromise settlement.
If your company has been denied coverage under a valid policy or if you are having any other disputes with your insurer regarding your commercial policies, contact the insurance coverage attorneys at Maginnis Law, PLLC. Maginnis Law is a Raleigh civil litigation firm with insurance coverage lawyers handling matters in Cary, Apex, Wake Forest, Morrsville, Durham, Clayton and the rest of the Triangle area. Contact the firm at 919.526.0450 to discuss your matter with one of our attorneys or submit a new case inquiry by using our contact page.