Practice Areas under Insurance
Extra-Contractual & Bad Faith Liability
When faced with allegations of bad faith, insurers once only had to worry about damages specified in the insurance contract. However, plaintiffs can now pursue punitive damages or damages for emotional distress that exceed the stated limit of first-party or third-party insurance policies. These extra-contractual damages are awarded in bad faith litigation to punish those cases of willful insurer misconduct. Defending insurance companies against bad faith claims and these extra-contractual damages has become more challenging as adverse legal decisions and new plaintiff’s counsel tactics emerge.
The insurance defense lawyers of Christian & Small help insurance carriers and their professionals analyze and understand all of the legal and business issues involved in processing insurance claims. We know that extra-contractual damage awards usually arise from certain claims handling practices and train our clients to properly process claims, draft denial letters and identify any red flags or warning signs of impending litigation. Our attorneys have experience working with different insurance lines like car insurance, life insurance, health insurance, disability insurance, property insurance, homeowners insurance and directors and officers (D&O) insurance.
When an insured or beneficiary files a bad faith complaint, we aggressively defend the insurance company against the claim, prepared for trial but always working toward a prompt and less costly resolution. We have represented national and regional insurance carriers against some of the following insurance coverage bad faith claims:
- First-party bad faith
- Third-party bad faith
- Statutory bad faith
- Unfair claims settlements
- Institutional bad faith
- Comparative bad faith
- Reverse bad faith
Although far removed from the worst of the financial crisis, insurance companies are still looking for ways to preserve capital, manage risk and contain costs. Insurers are seeking innovative methods for staying viable in a highly-competitive market, sometimes through merger and acquisition, or through new product lines and service offerings. At the same time, regulators are paying closer attention to insurance marketing, sales and claims handling.
National and regional insurance companies trust the legal advocates at Christian & Small to effectively and efficiently analyze issues, identify risks and limit exposure for virtually any type of insurance-based matter. Our attorneys have experience with a variety of insurance litigation matters, including coverage and duty to defend disputes, professional liability, subrogation and bad faith cases, and directors and officers (D&O) liability matters.
Insurance industry clients rely on our background and knowledge to assess, anticipate and vigorously defend claims for damages. Christian & Small has successfully managed hundreds of cases in state and federal courts throughout the Southeast. Whether in discovery, deposition or at trial, we aggressively protect our clients’ interests with intense preparation, focused inquiry and thorough identification of the weaknesses of the opposing position. In addition to our respected reputation for litigation, our attorneys are also highly sought after to assist insurance companies throughout the nation in the determination of specific coverage responsibility under issued policies.