Tarkington, O’Neill, Barrack & Chong has assisted both insurers and insureds to resolve questions and issues arising from the interpretation and implementation of insurance policy provisions to losses and claims. The Firm’s clients include major insurance carriers, business owners, property owners and individual homeowners involved in questions and/or disputes regarding the extent of coverage for first and third party claims and losses.
The Firm provides both consultation and litigation services to its clients on first party and third party claims. The Firm combines rigorous analysis and thorough understanding of the law coupled with creative solutions to present and promote the “best case scenario” for its clients in such disputes. The Firm has litigated insurance coverage matters in State and Federal court at both the trial and appellate levels.
Our Insurance Coverage and Dispute Practice includes extensive experience and expertise with claims involving:
- First Party Property Damage under all policy forms;
- First Party Business Loss/Interruption Claims
- Environmental Claims - First Party and Third Party
- Uninsured Motorist/Underinsured Motorist Claims;
- Third Party - Additional Insured Liability Claims;
- Claims Made Coverage - Directors & Officers/Errors & Omisssion;
- Third Party Excess & Surplus Lines Coverage;
- Third Party Pollution Liability Claims; and,
- Employment Practices Liability Claims
Successful insurance coverage analysis lies in understanding the nuances of both the coverage at issue and the facts and legal effect of the circumstances. Insurance coverage, by its nature, is the application of unique facts to the specific language of the policy under consideration. Tarkington, O’Neill, Barrack & Chong’s insurance coverage specialists are expert at finding, understanding and applying these keys to insurance coverage and presenting them in a manner most likely to maximize the client’s position either for or against coverage.
KEY INSURANCE SUB-PRACTICE AREAS
1. FIRST PARTY PROPERTY DAMAGE UNDER ALL POLICY FORMS;
Tarkington, O’Neill, Barrack & Chong has handled many complex property damage claims on behalf of insurers and insureds. These claims range from injury to a single unit arising from natural causes to the claims review services for the massive 1991 Oakland Hills fire. We have provided services arising from and related to fire, earthquake, flood and wind/hurricane property damage claims for insured property throughout the United States. Our services include review, consultation, and if necessary, litigation of potential exposure arising from all first party coverage forms from Homeowners policies to multi-location package policies.
2. FIRST PARTY BUSINESS LOSS/INTERRUPTION CLAIMS
In addition to ordinary property damage claims, many commercial first party policies included coverage for business interruption damages based upon specific special limitations and arising out of a covered loss. The Firm has extensive experience with the forensic analysis and determination of business loss claims including analysis of the cause(s) of the loss, categorization and allocation of losses and evaluation of extra-contractual issues potentially impacting coverage.
3. ENVIRONMENTAL CLAIMS - FIRST AND THIRD PARTY
Tarkington, O’Neill, Barrack & Chong has analyzed coverage under numerous policies for first party environmental property damage coverages. Despite “absolute” exclusions in standard Commercial General Liability policies, there are many issues outstanding relating to the application of such policies to property conditions which do not fit within the standard pollution model. The Firm has also reviewed the scope and extent of carrier obligations under pollution property and liability policies and advocated both for insurers and insureds.
4. UNINSURED MOTORIST/UNDER-INSURED MOTORIST CLAIMS
A typical conjunction of motor vehicle accident litigation and insurance coverage, Tarkington, O’Neill, Barrack & Chong has litigated numerous uninsured motorist/under-insured motorist claims on behalf of insurers and insureds. The Firm’s extensive familiarity with auto liability claims and special coverage limitations applicable to such claims have assisted many of our clients to obtain outstanding results in an economical and efficient manner.
5. THIRD PARTY - ADDITIONAL INSURED LIABILITY CLAIMS
A common adjunct to multi-defendant tort claims arising out of actions involving principal and agent relationships is the contractual shift of liability by requiring additional insured endorsements in favor of the hirer. Tarkington, O’Neill, Barrack & Chong has represented all sides of these collateral matters including the contracting parties and their respective carriers. The Firm has successfully enforced and resisted Crawford claims on behalf of its clients. The extensive experience of the Firm’s attorneys in all phases of complex, multi-party litigation has aided their ability to reach accommodations and allocations of both defense expenses and indemnity costs among multiple overlapping coverages.
6. CLAIMS MADE COVERAGE - DIRECTORS & OFFICERS/ERRORS & OMISSION
Claims made and claims made and reported policies contain pitfalls for the unwary and require early review and analysis upon presentation of a claim. Tarkington, O’Neill, Barrack & Chong has represented insurers and insureds on claims made liability issues. Small differences in the language of a policy may have significant impact on the extent of a carrier’s obligation, if any, to respond to these claims. The Firm’s familiarity with multiple policy forms and issues related to claims made coverages allows us to quickly and efficiently review and respond to such claims.
7. THIRD PARTY EXCESS & SURPLUS LINES COVERAGE
Excess and surplus lines policies have a higher likelihood for unique policy language. Tarkington, O’Neill, Barrack and Chong has provided coverage analysis and monitoring services to a variety of excess and surplus lines carriers on claims ranging from catastrophic motor vehicle collisions to equestrian center liability claims.
8. EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES LIABILITY CLAIMS
Tarkington, O’Neill, Barrack & Chong combines a thorough appreciation for an employer’s potential exposure for employment related practices liability with comprehensive knowledge of potential coverages available under typical business policies including, but not limited to CGL, EPL, D&O, and other coverage forms. The Firm has achieved outstanding results for clients on matters involving coverage for employment practices related claims on behalf of insured entities.