• Insurance Coverage Claims: Narrowing the Information Gap
  • March 12, 2014
  • Law Firm: Brouse McDowell A Legal Professional Association - Akron Office
  • Businesses spend hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars a year on insurance policies. These policies are valuable assets that a company relies upon when it suffers a loss to its business. Most policyholders expect to get exactly what was promised to them when they bought the policies - a partner who will work collaboratively with it to minimize the loss and any disruption to the policyholder’s business. Instead, many policyholders quickly learn that their interests and their insurance company's interests are not the same.

    Competing Interests of the Insurer and Policyholder. A policyholder is most interested in resolving the claim quickly and fairly. The insurer, on the other hand, is often more interested in protecting its own assets than protecting those of the policyholder. In fact, the insurer's business model is inconsistent with the prompt payment of claims - insurers make their profit not on the premiums they collect, but rather on the interest accumulated on those premiums. The longer an insurer can hold onto the premiums without paying claims, the more profitable it will be.

    Superior Position of Insurer. There is another fundamental difference between policyholders and their insurers, and it often plays a large role in whether a policyholder’s claim is ultimately successful. Evaluation and resolution of claims is the insurer's business. They know the policy language, the law, and, most importantly, all of the traps for the unwary. They employ an arsenal of lawyers to advise them on claims. But for the policyholder, business losses and insurance claims are the exception, not the norm. This information unbalance clearly favors the insurer.

    Providing Advice and Information to Policyholders. Brouse McDowell has been counseling corporate policyholders for nearly 30 years. In our experience, insurers frequently deny claims without basis, particularly where large amounts of money are involved. We have prosecuted many such claims with a very high success rate, recovering thousands to many millions of dollars for our clients. This blog will explore many of the complex issues we have confronted over the last several decades, give policyholders practical tips for dealing with their insurers, and highlight recent and important changes in insurance coverage law. It is intended to help policyholders narrow the information gap. Our aim is to arm policyholders with the knowledge they need to put themselves in the best position possible to ensure fair and prompt resolution of their claim.