Practice/Industry Group Overview
Goldberg Segalla attorneys have successfully represented insurance agents and brokers in hundreds of errors and omissions claims and lawsuits on a regional and national basis. Our experience includes the representation of insurance agents and brokers in errors and omissions claims arising out of both first-party and third-party claims in connection with placements in the excess and surplus lines market, as well as personal lines, commercial lines, professional liability, umbrella excess, and workers' compensation coverage.
Our attorneys have experience in the highly specialized law, strategies, and techniques required to achieve prompt, outstanding, cost-effective results in the defense of insurance agents and brokers. Goldberg Segalla brings a full-service insurance coverage dimension to our E&O practice. Our industry-acclaimed Global Insurance Services Practice is available to quickly and accurately identify any and all other potential sources of coverage for the underlying claim. Where appropriate, we aggressively pursue those coverages to help ensure the likelihood that the insurance agents' and brokers' errors and omissions policies and their deductibles will not be impeded. Moreover, when an E&O lawsuit is brought due to an underlying liability claim, such as a labor law claim in the construction industry, Goldberg Segalla attorneys in other practice segments are available to lend their experience to resolve the underlying liability claim in alignment with the interests of the insurance agents and brokers and their E&O insurers.
Goldberg Segalla attorneys have worked with many insurance agencies and brokerages to help them prepare innovative and cutting-edge defenses of errors and omissions claims and lawsuits. Thus, our attorneys have developed a wealth of understanding of the business operations of insurance agencies and brokerages from which we can draw upon to help prevail on behalf of our clients.
We don't just defend E&O claims — we actively assist our clients in trying to prevent them. It is our mission to provide insurance agents and brokers and their E&O insurers with cutting-edge, practical errors and omissions loss control advice and to help them implement those techniques. In the event of an errors and omissions claim or lawsuit, Goldberg Segalla attorneys work closely with the agents and brokers as well as claims representatives and claims counsel to swiftly develop and implement a winning strategy while keeping down both indemnity and defense dollars. Our "roll up your sleeves" approach includes meeting personally with agency principals and personnel. There our attorneys memorialize recollections of the insurance transactions and identify and secure the relevant documentary and computerized evidence, as well as key agency practices and procedures in order to craft a superior defense. From our first meeting with the agency to the time that we conclude the E&O claim or lawsuit, we are highly cognizant and sensitive to the fact that agents and brokers are often caught in the middle between the relationships that they have with their customers and the involved insurers. We understand those relationships and the contractual agency agreements that may govern them.
We also recognize that oftentimes the insurance agency's or brokerage's reputation is on the line. We adhere to our firm-wide philosophy of creating and maintaining strong client relationships while promptly achieving superior bottom-line results which represent a truly uncommon value to our clients.
Not only are we deeply committed to continuously improving our knowledge and expertise of the prevailing law, we are determined to shape it so that it is as favorable to insurance agents and brokers as possible. In addition, we are committed to updating our knowledge of the business issues that face insurance agents and brokers, including changes in the insurance industry and industry technologies. These changes affect insurance agencies' and brokerages' errors and omissions exposures and call for updated loss control techniques. In sum, Goldberg Segalla is deeply committed to act as strong and trusted advocates for insurance agents and brokers and their errors and omissions insurers.
Goldberg Segalla attorneys have demonstrated that commitment to insurance agents and brokers. We are members of the Defense Research Institute's National Professional Liability Insurance Subcommittee for Insurance Agents and Brokers' Errors and Omissions claims and lawsuits. Our attorneys are recognized in the insurance industry as accomplished speakers and presenters on the topic of insurance agents' errors and omissions claims and have conducted numerous errors and omissions loss control seminars for insurance agents and brokers across New York State, as well as on a national basis, including for the CPCU Society.
For example, our E&O team includes Michael T. Glascott and Colleen M. Murphy, recognized authorities on this area of law who have spent their legal careers handling complex errors and omissions lawsuits and claims against insurance agents and brokers as well as insurance coverage and umbrella excess litigation and opinions. Ms. Murphy has provided errors and omissions loss control seminars for insurance agents and brokers, including under the auspices of the New York State Insurance Department. She has authored numerous errors and omissions reports that have been distributed statewide to New York insurance agents and brokers, and she contributed to a chapter on the Fair Credit Reporting Act for an errors and omissions primer. Mr. Glascott authored numerous insurance coverage reports dealing with issues that directly impact insurance agents and brokers.
Our attorneys have obtained numerous summary judgment decisions dismissing lawsuits before trial in favor of insurance agents and brokers, including under the prevailing law set forth in the seminal New York Court of Appeals case of Murphy v. Kuhn, 90 N.Y.2d 266 (1997) limiting the duty of an insurance agent. Representative decisions include L.C.E.L. Collectibles v. American Insurance Co., 228 A.D.2d 196 (1st Dept. 1996), in which Ms. Murphy obtained summary judgment by convincing the Appellate Division, First Department to hold for the first time in New York State that an insurance agent had no duty to recommend flood insurance or to inspect the location of plaintiff's property to determine whether it was near a flood plain or swamp. L.C.E.L. Collectibles has been extensively cited and was relied upon by the Pennsylvania Superior Court in the seminal decision of Wisniski v. Brown and Brown Ins. Co. of PA, 206 PA Supr.216 (PA. Super. Ct. 2006) that held that the relationship between an insurance agent and a customer is ordinarily an arm's-length transaction, and thus, the agent had no duty to inspect the property or recommend flood coverage. Ms. Murphy has presented on presented on the impact of that decision at an Insurance Agents Errors and Omissions Loss Control seminar at the invitation of the CPCU Society in Philadelphia.
Goldberg Segalla's attorneys are experienced in representing insurance agents and brokers before the New York State Insurance Department with respect to consumer complaints and regulatory matters. For example, in Lee v. State of New York Insurance Department, 222 AD.2d 1050 (4th Dept.1995), Ms. Murphy successfully stopped the New York State Insurance Department from acting outside the scope of its investigational authority and prevented it from ordering the insurance agent to appear before it and to submit to questioning in the presence of a disgruntled agency customer with respect to a consumer complaint.
Goldberg Segalla is also available to represent insurance agents and brokers individually, including with respect to errors and omissions loss control and prevention seminars and audits, and to assist the insurance agents and brokers in obtaining insurance coverage for claims on behalf of the customers against the insurance agency or brokerage.