Practice/Industry Group Overview
Wilson Elser’s Professional Liability practice maintains a strong emphasis on representing insurance agents and brokers. For more than 30 years, Wilson Elser has litigated and arbitrated disputes throughout the United States involving both domestic and foreign insurance agents and brokers, in all lines of coverage, from the most basic life insurance placement to the most complex reinsurance treaty. Well recognized in this area, the firm boasts a large, national team of attorneys with broad experience in the business practices of all types of insurance intermediaries, including brokers at every level in the broking process, from producers to managing general agents to London Market brokers. Our attorneys’ vast knowledge of the insurance industry results in effective analysis of the agency relationships between and among the parties and an aggressive defense plan targeted at quick dismissals wherever possible. We have defended against a broad array of claims and obtained successful dismissals through trials, voluntary dismissals, summary judgments and other dispositive motions, arbitrations and appeals.
Our attorneys’ vast knowledge of the insurance industry results in effective analysis of the agency relationships between and among the parties and an aggressive defense plan targeted at quick dismissals wherever possible.
In addition to protecting insurance agents and brokers and their errors and omissions insurers in the event of claims, Wilson Elser enhances our extensive loss prevention services through educational seminars, including mock trials and CE-eligible training, telephone hotlines and deep involvement in insurance industry organizations. Articles authored by Wilson Elser partners on subjects related to insurance agents’ and brokers’ loss prevention are in demand by trade journals and industry newsletters.
Our experience includes claims asserted against brokers for losses arising from natural catastrophes such as fires, earthquakes, floods and hurricanes, as well as man-made catastrophic losses that have affected credit markets, real estate values and every aspect of insurable risks. We draw on the resources and experience of the entire firm in responding to the complete spectrum of coverage issues, including property, casualty, life and all forms of third-party liability policies. Our track record is impeccable and our clients’ satisfaction with the results is apparent from their loyalty and the growth that we enjoy in this area of our practice.
Wilson Elser represents insurance agents and brokers before state licensing, regulatory and disciplinary boards. We assist with all aspects of this responsibility from ensuring that initial licensing requirements are met to defending agents and brokers against serious disciplinary charges that can place their licenses at risk.
We also serve as national coordinating counsel for broker clients, and in that role we select experienced and competent local representatives, coordinate defense activities, share our wealth of knowledge and experience, and manage nationwide defense and claims resolution to ensure a consistently high-quality defense. Our firm’s experience in representing agents and brokers in liability matters has resulted in the acquisition of an extensive network of expert consultants we can access for advice, consultation or expert witnesses services.
In addition to broker and agent licensing and regulatory matters, Wilson Elser represents brokerage firms in myriad business transactions and disputes, from formations to combinations to separations to winding down, and everything along this continuum.
Agents and brokers are increasingly subject to employment disputes that are unique to their profession, or nearly so, such as alleged breaches of commission-sharing agreements, sub-brokerage or production contracts, indemnification clauses in agency appointments and other contractual matters. Wilson Elser can help insurance firms avoid and resolve these disputes.
The insurance industry is increasing its online presence to reach the public. Websites, social media, blogs and online application processes present new business opportunities, which Wilson Elser assists brokerage firms and agencies in realizing. Along with the opportunities come potentially serious risks, which we help them avoid. A single blog posting that inadvertently misstates the scope of coverage under a policy may reach hundreds of policyholders. Inadvertent disclosure of a customer’s “personally identifiable” information in an email may breach his or her privacy rights. Website content may improperly use a person’s or an entity’s intellectual property.
The virtual world can be a dangerous place. Wilson Elser helps make it safer for our clients.