Dow Lohnes provides comprehensive insurance-related services to its corporate clients and their directors, officers and employees. The firm advises clients on their insurance needs, negotiates the terms of their policies, drafts claim and proof of loss notices, negotiates coverage disputes with insurers and, when necessary, litigates those disputes in state or federal court.
Businesses have a wide-variety of insurance needs depending on their size, their line of business and their risk-tolerance. Dow Lohnes has found that many companies determine their insurance needs and negotiate their policies with the sole assistance of insurance brokers, who often have conflicts of interest and who rarely have any legal training. Although brokers play an important role in selecting and negotiating policies, there is no substitute for the critical eye of an attorney familiar with the types of claims that often arise, and the coverage positions that a carrier is likely to take in the event of a claim. Dow Lohnes has extensive experience reviewing and analyzing insurance policies of all types, including directors and officers, errors and omissions and general liability policies, as well as specialized media, Internet, financial services, aircraft and satellite policies. We have assisted numerous clients in identifying their liability risks, assessing the types of coverage needed, and in negotiating the terms of those policies.
Dow Lohnes attorneys also have ample experience in resolving insurance coverage disputes. Our lawyers work cooperatively with insurers when possible and litigate against them when necessary. We have found that insurers are far more responsive to claims when they are faced with an experienced coverage counsel who understands their policies, and who can navigate the complex web of terms, conditions, exclusions and endorsements that comprise a policy. We work with clients from the outset of a claim, reviewing policy terms and requirements, crafting notice and proof of loss letters, preparing coverage arguments and responding to initial coverage determinations.
Dow Lohnes has had great success in resolving coverage disputes short of litigation by promptly providing carriers with the factual information and legal arguments necessary to establish coverage. For instance, we assisted a client in obtaining a substantial settlement in connection with a satellite transponder failure (even though the insured was not using the transponder at the time of loss) by retaining a renowned satellite expert immediately after the loss, who drafted a report establishing the essential facts necessary for coverage. His report, combined with relevant legal authority, convinced the insurer that litigation would be costly, difficult and, ultimately, unsuccessful.
In other cases, filing suit has been necessary in order to obtain a favorable result for a client. For example, Dow Lohnes litigated in federal court on behalf of a client whose aircraft was damaged beyond repair due to a mishap during refueling. After mediation failed, we promptly filed suit against the insurer for breach of contract, bad faith and fraud in connection with the issuance of the policy. The suit was supported by a detailed and convincing report from a professor of aerospace engineering at a leading aeronautical institute establishing that the aircraft's wings were structurally unsound even though they appeared normal to the naked eye. Within months after the suit was filed, the insurer agreed to a favorable settlement.
- Litigated a matter against an insurer and other parties in federal court in Georgia on behalf of a client whose aircraft was damaged in a refueling accident.
- Advised Internet company on insurance coverage issues relating to litigation in multiple venues alleging that its technology violated plaintiffs’ intellectual property rights.
- Advising Fortune 500 communications company regarding D&O insurance coverage in connection with securities and fiduciary duty claims arising out of the demise of an Internet company in which it held an ownership interest.
- Advising two large cable companies regarding D&O insurance coverage in connection with class action litigation arising out of going-private transactions.
- Assisted numerous public and private companies in negotiating and obtaining D&O, E&O, media perils and other insurance coverage.
- Advised media company on insurance issues relating to plane crash that destroyed the broadcast tower of one of its television stations.
- Advised cable company regarding potential insurance coverage for damage to its system as a result of a tropical storm.
- Negotiated on behalf of a non-profit organization a favorable settlement of a claim under a property insurance policy that the insurer initially denied.
- Assisted author in obtaining insurance coverage for controversial book about schizophrenics.
- Negotiated favorable settlement of a claim initially denied by the insurer relating to a satellite transponder failure.
- Advised major media company relating to D&O insurance coverage issues relating to a lawsuit brought against it in South Carolina state court.
- Advised special committee of a communications company on D&O insurance coverage issues relating to its decision to settle a potential claim against a major shareholder.