Practice/Industry Group Overview
Duane Morris's Insurance Practice Group has broad experience in representing parties arising out of state insolvency proceedings for insurance carriers. This niche practice area includes legal representation in federal and state venues throughout the United States, as well as with the insolvent insurer's estate. The breadth of our experience provides insight and counsel to rehabilitators and liquidators, solvent insurers, reinsurers, guaranty associations, managing general agents, insurance producers and policyholders.
Our lawyers have litigated a range of subject matter areas arising out of insurance insolvencies. By way of example, we have commenced actions to recover statutory preferences. We have brought premium collection lawsuits against both policyholders and insurance producers, including actions involving audited premium, retrospectively adjusted premium, and return premium due. Duane Morris lawyers have litigated various types of contractual clauses, including fiduciary and premium trust clauses; uncollected premium clauses; and termination upon insolvency clauses, and have analyzed the impact of custom and usage on contract interpretation. We have rebutted complex defenses involving the conduct of third parties, including offshore and domestic reinsurers and third-party administrators.
We have also asserted claims to recover large deductibles advanced on behalf of policyholders. Large deductible endorsements are a type of coverage permitted in some states that allows the policyholder to assume greater risk of loss through sizable deductibles and lower premium pricing. The deductible amounts advanced for the policyholder are subject to recovery under the legal theory of reimbursement.
Duane Morris has litigated policyholder direct access to reinsurance in statutory insurance insolvencies. Issues in these representations have included the propriety of direct access after the assumption of coverage by guaranty associations, assignments, direct access by policy and program line of coverage, and the role of the insurer after direct access has been allowed.
We are knowledgeable about proof-of-claim proceedings in the insolvent carrier's estate, including the statutory proof of claim process and priority scheme. Our lawyers have been involved in countless claims matters, including, by way of example, lifetime tail coverage and other coverage questions, claims valuations, claims for return premium, and claims by third-party administrators for claims administration expenses.