Matthiesen, Wickert & Lehrer, S.C. (MWL) specializes in the analysis and resolution of insurance policy coverage disputes. Whether resolution is reached through settlement, summary judgment, or trial, the attorneys of MWL are the experienced and tenacious representatives you need in your corner. MWL provides analysis and evaluation of policy coverage issues and coverage opinions on such issues for insurance carriers. MWL has extensive expertise in handling first-party and third-party insurance coverage analysis, issues and disputes. Our attorneys assist clients in analyzing insurance policies and contracts, investigating claims, rendering coverage opinions, and litigating coverage issues through trial and appeal, including the prosecution and defense of actions for declaratory relief.
At MWL, the five partners alone have a combined 129 years of experience in handling such coverage matters, including environmental coverage, review and interpretation of personal (auto and homeowners), commercial and special risks policies, basic policy defenses, exclusions and exceptions, determining and enforcing the rights and obligations of all parties to an insurance contract, coverage opinions and recommendations, making clear and explaining complex and ambiguous insurance contract terms, an insured’s duty to cooperate and attendant exclusions, all aspects of good faith and fair dealing obligations, opinions, and litigation.
More and more insurance companies, faced with astronomical claims of all kinds, have had to resort to meticulously enforcing coverage exceptions and exclusions in order to maintain profitability. Carriers should not be expected to pay uncovered or excluded claims any more than we should be expected to deny legitimate claims covered under the policy’s terms and conditions. With complex insurance agreements and multi-party situations becoming commonplace in an increasingly multi-state and even international setting, prudent carriers are pursuing ‘other insurance’ options, pressing multi-coverage contribution claims and liability subrogation, and seeking clear and compelling coverage opinions before pulling the litigation trigger. We can help in this area, regardless of the state or jurisdiction involved.
MWL authors a nationwide insurance coverage treatise entitled Fundamentals of Insurance Coverage In All 50 States, published by Juris Publishing, Inc., New York, that memorialized the firm’s expertise on insurance coverage and now serves as the insurance industry’s “Bible” on the subject nationwide. MWL is well-versed in federal and state applications of the key legislation and regulations governing insurance contracts. Services provided include:
- Policy/Coverage analysis of all policy forms, including but not limited to the CGL, BOP, BAP, CAP, D&O, Life, Health, Disability, Professional E&O, Inland Marine, Truckers and all personal lines policies.
- We don’t just offer opinions and walk away. Our extensive litigation background gives us the expertise to see coverage matters through trial, and if necessary, appeal. This includes the representation of insurance carriers and large commercial insurance customers.
- The attorneys at MWL provide training to insurance company claims handlers, and underwriters and brokers on insurance-related issues and breaking issues of law pertinent to the insurance community.
- Representation of insurance companies in complex coverage disputes with insureds, claimants and regulatory agencies.
- Representation of insureds in coverage litigation or disputes with their insurance carriers.
MWL devotes a substantial part of their time to insurance matters, including defending insurance industry clients against complex and class action litigation. Our insurance trial practice includes handling large, complex liability and first-party coverage suits, routine coverage matters, declaratory judgment litigation on the duty to defend, “bad faith” litigation, appeals and arbitration proceedings. In conjunction with our insurance practice, we regularly advise our business and insurance clients on a variety of contractual loss allocation issues, including indemnity and hold harmless agreements, contractual limitations of liability, and agreements to procure insurance. Additionally, we counsel clients on the placement and terms of policies, and assist in the training of claims and risk management personnel.