Insurance

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Cozen O’Connor Recognized As a Best Law Firm in 25 Practice Areas Nationwide, 106 Practice Areas Regionally

The U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” rankings are based on a rigorous evaluation process that includes the collection of client and lawyer evaluations and peer review from leading attorneys in their field.

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Cozen O’Connor represents major domestic and foreign insurers on a worldwide basis and is a recognized leader in insurance law. With nearly 200 top insurance attorneys, Cozen O’Connor fields arguably the most sophisticated insurance law department of any firm in the United States.

Underwriters and claims handlers need counsel with deep industry knowledge and allegiance. Complex regulations, consolidation, and increasing litigation are just a few of the challenges insurers face. Cozen O’Connor is prepared to help insurance clients meet the demands of this fast-paced, high-stakes marketplace.

Underlying Cozen O’Connor’s special relationship with the insurance industry is our dedication to providing a truly full-service practice. Our attorneys operate in a vast range of critical specialties in hundreds of jurisdictions. With offices in 30 cities across the U.S., as well as in London and Toronto, Cozen O’Connor is able to provide counsel on a state-by-state, national and international basis.

Litigation. Cozen O’Connor represents insurers in complex coverage and bad faith disputes regarding virtually all lines of personal and commercial insurance. Our attorneys have served as lead trial counsel or national coordinating counsel in some of the largest coverage cases in recent memory, including Superstorm Sandy, the  9/11 attacks and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The firm is also a world leader in the area of subrogation, successfully recovering in excess of $200 million on behalf of our clients on an annual basis.

Business Transactions. Cozen O’Connor provides practical strategic advice to underwriters on regulatory compliance, corporate governance, major transactions, and the launch of new business organizations. We lead mergers, acquisitions, and entity creation; license and register industry participants; handle regulatory filings and contract negotiations; and structure alternative risk mechanisms, including captives, risk retention groups, and self-insurance plans.

Regulatory. Few industries are as heavily regulated as insurance. We advise on compliance, advertising, statutory reporting, receiverships, director and officer fiduciary duties, and board operations. Our attorneys regularly design corporate policies for insurers on privacy, document retention, codes of ethics, conflicts of interest, anti-fraud, subrogation policies, and claims handling. And we offer specific counsel on insurance topics, including investment restrictions, holding company matters, premium tax, surplus notes, premium financing, statutory deposits, and McCarran-Ferguson antitrust rules.

The Cozen O’Connor Insurance Industry Team includes fellows in the American College of Trial Lawyers, International Academy of Trial Lawyers and American College of Coverage and Extra-contractual Counsel. Numerous individual lawyers and insurance-related practice groups have received the highest rankings by Chambers & Partners and other independent legal publications. Our insurance attorneys publish and lecture widely, and several have authored frequently cited insurance law treatises.

Experience

Publications

Fifth Circuit Weighs in on Aftermath of Texas Supreme Court’s Decisions Affecting Insurers’ Pre-Appraisal Award Payments and Damages under the Texas Prompt Payment of Claims Act [Avoiding Insurance Bad Faith Blog]

August 20, 2021

Just a few short years ago, there was a bright line rule under Texas law concerning appraisal awards. If an insurer timely paid an appraisal award, that payment extinguished all of the insurer’s contractual and extracontractual liability to the insured. See, e.g., Garcia v. State Farm Lloyds, 514...

Fifth Circuit Finds Potential Coverage for Data Breach; Interprets “Publication” Broadly [Avoiding Insurance Bad Faith Blog]

July 23, 2021

Using general contract interpretation principles, the Fifth Circuit reversed summary judgment in favor of an insurer and found a duty to defend Landry’s in a data breach lawsuit. Landry’s Inc. v. The Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania, No. 19-20430 (July 21, 2021). Landry’s...

Limitations of Time and Notice Requirements for Commencement of Actions [Jurisdictions Comparative Chart]

June 17, 2021

Limitations of Time and Notice Requirements for Commencement of Actions - Jurisdictions Comparative Chart - Limitations of Time and Notice Requirements for Commencement of Actions

Iowa Supreme Court Rejects Restaurant’s Allegations of Bad Faith and Breach of Contract After Appraisal [Avoiding Insurance Bad Faith Blog]

June 08, 2021

The Iowa Supreme Court recently reversed the appellate court’s denial of an insurer’s motion for a directed verdict, finding that United Fire did not breach the insurance policy and did not commit bad faith during a property appraisal. Luigi’s, Inc. v. United Fire and Cas. Co., No. 19-1669, ---...

Lack of Notice No Excuse for Failure to Settle [Avoiding Insurance Bad Faith Blog]

May 28, 2021

An insurer can no longer claim its lack of notice of a lawsuit against its insured excuses it for failing to settle the suit after the Georgia Supreme Court’s recent decision in GEICO Indemnity Co. v. Whiteside, Case No. S21Q0227 (Ga. April 19, 2021). In Whiteside, the Georgia Supreme Court held...

Avoid Creating Coverage By Estoppel, Waiver & Forfeiture: California [Avoiding Insurance Bad Faith Blog]

May 19, 2021

Waiver, estoppel and forfeiture are doctrines on which insureds often rely to try to create coverage outside the terms of the insurance policy. Insureds will often assert that they are entitled to such extra-contractual coverage based entirely on how the insurer handled the claim. But under...

A Jury Must Find An Insurer Acted Unreasonably In Order To Find Bad Faith Failure to Settle [Avoiding Insurance Bad Faith Blog]

April 27, 2021

On March 8, 2021 the California Court of Appeal, reversing a $10 million verdict against Farmers, found that a jury must specifically find unreasonable acts by an insurer to support a “failure to settle” bad faith finding. Pinto v. Farmers Ins. Exch., No. B295742, __ Cal. App. 5th __, 2021 WL...

Tips for Avoiding First-Party “Bad Faith” in Illinois [Avoiding Insurance Bad Faith Blog]

April 21, 2021

Illinois does not recognize bad faith as an independent tort. In the first-party context, bad faith is a purely statutory construct which hinges upon whether an insurer’s conduct was “vexatious and unreasonable.” Section 155 of the Illinois Insurance Code (215 ILCS 5/155) provides the exclusive...

Recent Bad Faith Cases Regarding Reasonableness of Medical Treatment [Avoiding Insurance Bad Faith Blog]

April 19, 2021

In two recent cases, the courts showed substantial deference to patients’ treating physicians in determining the reasonableness of medical treatment. This deference appears to reflect a reluctance of courts to decide what healthcare is appropriate for a patient. In Peterson v. Western National...

Claims Handling: Questions Are the Answer [Avoiding Insurance Bad Faith Blog]

April 12, 2021

The key issue in insurance bad faith litigation is whether the claims professional reasonably handled the claim. Throughout the claims-handling process, the claims professional should constantly ask him-or-herself whether the investigation is sufficient to support a coverage determination and...

Can a Settlement Demand Above Policy Limits Fall within Limits? A Calif. Appellate Court Says Yes

March 29, 2021

Michael Melendez and Rebekah Shapiro discuss a recent California Appeals Court decision in Planet Bingo LLC v. Burlington Ins. Co., and what it means for liability insurers.

50 State Survey of Measure of Damages For Injury to Real and Personal Property [Jurisdictions Comparative Chart]

June 05, 2020

50 State Survey of Measure of Damages For Injury to Real and Personal Property - Jurisdictions Comparative Chart - This chart provides a general overview of the case law addressing the measure of damages for property damage in all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia.

Insurer May Not Intervene Into Insured’s Construction Defect Trial To Seek Allocation of Damages [Alert]

June 03, 2020

Tracy Eggleston and Denise Bessellieu discuss the state Supreme Court's decision in Builders Mut. Ins. Co. v. Island Pointe, LLC, and what insurers need to know.

The Thrilla over Manila: Washington Supreme Court Finds Duty to Defend Clam Demand

May 12, 2020

Jordan Hess discusses Washington's expansion of insurers’ duty to defend and the courts’ expectation that insurers “put the insured’s needs before its own” when interpreting legal ambiguities respecting their policies.

COVID-Driven Commercial Litigation – What Businesses Can Expect

May 08, 2020

Adam Schlatner and Michael de Leeuw discuss potential COVID-19 related litigation, based on what is already happening and the legacy of other downturns.

Texas Supreme Court Crafts “Undisputed Evidence of Collusive Fraud” Exception to Eight-Corners Rule [Avoiding Insurance Bad Faith Blog]

May 06, 2020

In Texas, and as a general rule, only the four corners of the policy and the four corners of the petition against the insured are relevant in deciding whether the duty to defend applies. Richards v. State Farm Lloyds, ___S.W.3d ___, 2020 WL 1313782 at *1 (Tex. 2020). Texas courts and practitioners...

Defending Institutional Bad Faith Claims, Part III – Proof by Other Claims [Avoiding Insurance Bad Faith Blog]

November 21, 2019

In Part I of this series, we explored the differences between institutional and non-institutional bad faith. For claims of institutional bad faith, plaintiffs often attempt to demonstrate a pattern and practice by offering evidence of claims of other policyholders. Unlike claims of institutional bad...

Defending Institutional Bad Faith Claims, Part II – Focusing on Plausibility [ Blog]

November 20, 2019

In Part I of this series, we discussed institutional bad faith and best practices for insurers to minimize the risk of these costly and intrusive lawsuits. In Part II, we will focus on cutting discovery off at the pleadings—by narrowing the plaintiff’s claim, you limit the scope of relevance in...

Ninth Circuit (California): Hamas Attacks on Israel Do Not Trigger the War Exclusions [Alert]

July 22, 2019

Joe Ziemianski, Irene Yesowitch, and Sam Stalker discuss the Circuit Court's decision in Universal Cable Prods., LLC v. Atlantic Specialty Ins. Co. and what it means for insurers in and out of California.

Texas Supreme Court Identifies Claims that Survive the Payment of an Insurance Appraisal Award [Alert]

July 17, 2019

Donnie M. Apodaca, II, Stephen Pate, and Alicia G. Curran discuss two recent the Supreme Court of Texas’s decisions and considerations for insurers before they invoke appraisal and pay the appraisal awards.

Colorado Supreme Court: Appraisers May Not Advocate for Party Retaining Them [Alert]

July 08, 2019

Christopher S. Clemenson and John Daly discuss the instructions from the Colorado Supreme Court and how it may create a number of new disputes between insurers and their insureds during, and after, the appraisal process.

Supply Chain Attorney Shares Top 10 Transportation Issues to Track [Supply Chain Management Review]

February 12, 2019

Alycen Moss discusses top transportation issues to track and how these issues impact the transportation industry.

Montana Holds Insured’s Stipulated Judgment Was Collusive and Unreasonable [Alert]

February 05, 2019

Kristie M. Abel discusses how Abbey/Land demonstrates that an insurer can successfully contest such a judgment, however, the insurer needs to meet a high burden in order to prevail.

Policy Limits Demands and Time Limit Demands Duty to Settle [The Brief]

November 09, 2018

Gary Gassman, a member of firm's Global Insurance Department, and Jonathan Walton, an associate in the firm's Global Insurance Department, co-authored. "Policy Limits Demands and Time Limit Demands Duty to Settle."

Court Dismisses Claims Alleging Undisclosed Deductions from Structured Settlement Funds [Alert]

October 24, 2018

Lisa Stern and Mike Miller discuss a number of attempts to hold casualty carriers and annuity issuers liable for allegedly failing to disclose deductions from the amounts used to purchase structured settlement annuities for plaintiffs’ benefit. Each case has met with varying results but serves as a reminder of the pitfalls and exposure to the insurance industry at the point of settlement.

Federal Court Upholds Policy Approved Under the Interstate Insurance Compact [Alert]

October 24, 2018

Lisa Stern and Michael Miller discuss the first decision to directly address the question whether an interstate compact that is not congressionally approved may delegate authority to an interstate body to promulgate regulations that trump conflicting law in the compact states.

Priority of Rights of Recovery Relating To Deductibles [Jurisdictions Comparative Chart]

July 19, 2018

Priority of Rights of Recovery Relating To Deductibles - Jurisdictions Comparative Chart - A common inquiry is whether the “first monies” principles in many states likewise control the distribution of deductibles (either property or
automobile). Many states have statutes or insurance regulations that control the distribution of automobile deductibles, and in some cases, confusingly, those statutes or regulations conflict with the law relating to “first monies” in property losses.

California Holds Negligent Hiring, Retention, and Supervision Can State a Covered “Occurrence”

June 05, 2018

Teri Mae Rutledge discusses the California Supreme Court's decision in Liberty Surplus Insurance Corp. v. Ledesma & Meyer Construction Co., Inc.

Texas Supreme Court Clarifies Whether Bad Faith Liability May Exist in Absence of a Policy Breach [Global Insurance Alert]

April 20, 2018

Greg Hudson discusses the Texas Supreme Court's decision in Menchaca v. USAA Texas Lloyds Company. The court articulates five rules when extracontractual causes of action are available even when there has been no breach of the insurance policy and clarifies the procedural steps a court should follow in determining which rule applies.

New York High Court: Policyholders Must Bear Their Share of Long-Tail Claims [Global Insurance Alert]

April 10, 2018

Laura B. Dowgin discusses the big win for insurers in the New York Court of Appeals as this decision instructs New York courts to look at the terms of the insurance contract at issue, and where no coverage was given, and no premium received, the risk of liability is placed on the policyholder.

New Jersey Court: Continuous Trigger Ends When Nature of Damage Is Known [Global Insurance Alert]

October 26, 2017

Melissa Brill and Laura Dowgin discuss the decision in Air Master & Cooling, Inc. v. Selective Ins. Co. of Am., and its impact on progressive property damage claims in New Jersey.

Allocation Governed by “All Sums” Where Policy Contains “Prior Insurance” or “Non-Cumulation” Clause

July 24, 2017

Melissa Brill and Alexander Selarnick discuss the Second Circuit adoption of the New York Court of Appeals’ previous holding that the “all sums” provision in the insuring agreement permits an insured to access the limits of all policies in any triggered year, when the insurance policies contain “prior insurance” or “non-cumulation” clauses.

A Perfect Storm: FDR, Pappy O'Daniel, Huey Long's Ghost, and the Failed Fifth Circuit Nomination of James V Allred

July 07, 2017

Stephen Pate, of Cozen O'Connor's Global Insurance department, wrote an article titled, "A Perfect Storm: FDR, Pappy O'Daniel, Huey Long's Ghost, and the Failed Fifth Circuit Nomination of James V Allred" for the Journal of the Texas Supreme Court Historical Society.

Insuring Fine Art: The Visual Artists Rights Act and Its Implications for Insurance Claims [DRI]

July 01, 2017

Dina Richman, of Cozen O'Connor's Global Insurance Department, wrote an article for the DRI titled, "Insuring Fine Art: The Visual Artists Rights Act and Its Implications for Insurance Claims."

Her Story: Lessons in Success From Lawyers Who Live it [ABA]

July 01, 2017

Dina Richman, of Cozen O'Connor's Global Insurance Department, is a contributing author "Her Story: Lessons in Success from Lawyers Who Live It."

Three Western Courts Hold Carbon Monoxide Is a Pollutant but Washington Makes New Anti-Insurer Rules

May 02, 2017

Michael D. Handler and Thomas M. Jones discuss three recent rulings that are consistent with the trend of courts around the country concluding carbon monoxide is a pollutant under a liability insurance policy.

Insuring Against Social Engineering Attacks [Risk Management]

May 01, 2017

Elan Kandel and Alexander Selarnick, of Cozen O'Connor's Global Insurance department, co-authored an article for Risk Management titled "Insuring Against Social Engineering Attacks."

When LBJ Got His Way: The Making of a Texas Federal Judge, 1959

April 01, 2017

Stephen Pate, of Cozen O'Connor's Global Insurance department, wrote an article titled "When LBJ Got His Way: The Making of a Texas Federal Judge, 1959" for the Journal of the Texas Supreme Court Historical Society.

In the Public's Interest [Best's Review]

December 20, 2016

Kenneth Levine, co-chair of the Insurance Corporate & Regulatory Group, discusses the misuse of assignment of benefit provisions in connection with homeowners policies and its potential to create a rise in fraudulent claims and rate increases.

Events & Seminars

Past Events

Review of Significant Bad Faith Cases in 2018

February 13, 2019 - WEBINAR

20th Anniversary Windstorm Insurance Conference

January 31, 2019 - Orlando, Florida

Ethical Use of Technology

July 21, 2017 - Webinar

2017 Atlanta Insurance Seminar

May 18, 2017 - Atlanta, GA

Bad Faith Liability: Prevention and Control

May 16, 2017 - New Orleans, LA

ACCEC's 5th Annual Meeting

May 10, 2017 - Chicago, IL

2017 CLM Annual Conference

March 29, 2017 - Nashville, TN

Webinar: Building a Better Subro Claim

February 14, 2017 - Webinar

Houston Claims Association's February CE Seminar

February 08, 2017 - Houston, TX

Ethics in Claims Handling

January 19, 2017 - Leawood, KS

Orlando Claims Association Monthly Meeting

January 12, 2017 - Altamonte Springs, FL

In The News

Eleven Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named 2021 Illinois Super Lawyers

January 29, 2021

Super Lawyers has named eleven attorneys at Cozen O’Connor to its 2021 lists of top practitioners in Illinois.

Nine Cozen O’Connor Lawyers Named 2021 “Lawyers of the Year” by Best Lawyers in America

August 20, 2020

Cozen O’Connor is proud to announce that nine of the firm’s lawyers have been recognized as “Lawyers of the Year” in their respective practices by Best Lawyers in America.

Legal 500 Recognizes Six Cozen O’Connor Practice Areas and 13 Cozen O'Connor Attorneys in its 2020 Legal Guide

June 22, 2020

The Legal 500 United States named Cozen O’Connor’s Aviation, Construction, Immigration, Insurance, and Maritime practices and Cozen O’Connor attorneys Scott Bettridge, Stephen Cozen, Raymond DeLuca, Geoffrey Ferrer, Bruce Ficken, David Heffernan, Jeffrey Lawrence, Robert Magovern, Anne Mickey, Jeffrey Mullen, Josh Stein, Christopher Sweeney, and Jeff Vogel to its 2020 Legal Guide.

Cozen O’Connor Recognized As a Best Law Firm in 24 Practice Areas Nationwide, 106 Practice Areas Regionally

November 05, 2019

The U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” rankings are based on a rigorous evaluation process that includes the collection of client and lawyer evaluations and peer review from leading attorneys in their field.

138 Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named to the Best Lawyers in America

August 28, 2019

Best Lawyers selected 138 Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 21 of the firm’s national offices for inclusion in the 2020 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.

Legal 500 Recognizes Six Cozen O'Connor Practice Areas and Nine Cozen O'Connor Attorneys in its 2019 Legal Guide

June 14, 2019

The Legal 500 United States named Cozen O’Connor’s Aviation, Construction, Immigration, Insurance, and Maritime practices and Cozen O'Connor attorneys Scott Bettridge, Raymond DeLuca, Geoffrey Ferrer, Bruce Ficken, David Heffernan, Jeffrey Lawrence, Robert Magovern, Anne Mickey, and Jeffrey Mullen to its 2019 Legal Guide.

57 Cozen O’Connor Lawyers, 16 Practices Earn Top Recognition in Chambers USA 2019 Guide

April 25, 2019

Chambers USA, the leading annual guide to the top lawyers and law firms in the USA, has ranked 57 Cozen O’Connor lawyers as leaders in their respective fields in the Guide’s 2019 edition.

Insurance Attorney Paul C. Ferland Joins Cozen O'Connor

April 19, 2019

Cozen O'Connor welcomes Paul C. Ferland, an attorney who concentrates his practice in civil litigation involving first-party property insurance coverage, to its nationally recognized Global Insurance Practice.

Insurance Cases To Watch In 2019

January 01, 2019

Stephen Pate, a member in the firm's Global Insurance Department, was quoted in Law360's article, "Insurance Cases To Watch In 2019."

The Biggest Property & Casualty Insurance Decisions Of 2018

December 14, 2018

Stephen Pate, a member in the firm Global Insurance Department, was quoted in Law360's feature "The Biggest Property & Casualty Insurance Decisions of 2018."

Agents Get Upper Hand In Negligence Suits With Ill. Ruling

October 22, 2018

Stephen Pate, of Cozen O'Connor's Global Insurance department, was quoted in Law360 discussing a split Illinois Supreme Court recently held that the two-year statute of limitations for negligence claims against insurance agents.

Cozen O’Connor Expands Commercial Litigation Practice in Philadelphia with Group from Drinker Biddle

April 26, 2018

Cozen O’Connor announced today that three nationally recognized commercial litigators — Michael J. Miller, Gregory J. Star, and Stephen R. Harris — along with 11 others have left Drinker Biddle to join Cozen O’Connor’s Commercial Litigation practice

Fla. Court Retroactively Applies Allstate PIP Decision [Law360]

April 19, 2017

Peter J. Valeta, of Cozen O'Connor's Global Insurance department, was mentioned in a Law360 article titled Fla. Court Retroactively Applies Allstate PIP Decision.

Texas Ruling Could Mean Bigger Paydays For Policyholders

April 11, 2017

Stephen Pate discusses the recent Texas Supreme Court decision that restored protections for policyholders by putting teeth back into statutory provisions that penalize carriers for deceptive practices in an opinion insurance lawyers say is one of the most important in recent history.

Gary Gassman Elected the American Bar Association, Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section’s (TIPS) Diversity Officer

March 29, 2017

Gary Gassman, a member of Cozen O’Connor’s Insurance department, has been elected the American Bar Association, Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section’s (TIPS) diversity officer for the period August 2017 to August 2019.

Documenting Subrogation Loss Means Getting Lots of Photos

February 17, 2017

Joseph Rich and Richard Maleski, of Cozen O'Connor's Subrogation and Recovery department, hosted a firm webinar that was featured in a Claims Journal article titled, "Documenting Subrogation Loss Means Getting Lots of Photos."

Contacts

Elliott R. Feldman

Co-Chair, Subrogation & Recovery Department

efeldman@cozen.com

(215) 665-2071

Kevin J. Hughes

Co-Chair, Subrogation & Recovery Department

khughes@cozen.com

(215) 665-2739

Joseph A. Ziemianski

Co-Chair, Global Insurance Department

jziemianski@cozen.com

(832) 214-3920

Melissa Brill

Co-Chair, Global Insurance Department

mbrill@cozen.com

(212) 908-1257

People

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