Excess insurance, while great for mitigating risks of large losses to policyholders, does not always cooperate during litigation. This is particularly true during settlement negotiations, as excess insurers do not have an obligation to settle in good faith until it’s their turn to defend. This was the decision of the Seventh Circuit in Fox v. Am. Alt. Ins. Corp., 757 F.3d 680 (7th Cir. 2014). In Fox, the plaintiff twice made demands for settlement, both before and after a jury verdict came down, that was in excess of the primary policy. But, as the excess insurer had no duty to defend until the primary policy was “exhausted,” meaning actually paid out, the Seventh Circuit found that in neither demand had the excess insurer violated their duty to settle in good faith.
Nancy Sher Cohen, leader of our Los Angeles office and a leader of our Insurance Recoveries and Counseling practice group, recently sat down with Burford Capital's Andy Lundberg to discuss topics of concern for clients pursuing or considering complex insurance coverage claims. Areas covered include the future of insurance coverage litigation, budgeting for and managing the expense of big coverage litigation, use of alternative fee arrangements, and how legal finance could help policyholders manage cash flow.
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Lathrop GPM is one of the largest law firms in the United States representing policyholders, providing policyholders with the necessary guidance and legal counsel to handle everything from negotiating coverage and managing risk to litigating insurance disputes and recovery. The Road to Insurance Recovery blog is dedicated to helping readers better understand and manage the complexities of the modern business insurance policy.