Cox, Castle & Nicholson's insurance coverage attorneys are recognized for their expertise as insurance coverage and claims counsel. We collaborate with our clients' corporate counsel, risk managers, and insurance brokers to creatively analyze, handle, and resolve complex insurance coverage issues.
Our experience with the major first party (property) and third party (liability) insurance coverages maintained and encountered by real estate and construction participants allows us to provide industry-leading counsel in the structuring, implementation, and performance of insurance programs for owners, homebuilders, developers, investors, contractors, and lenders in a broad range of real estate product types, developments, investments, and transactions.
We typically perform a comparative analysis of the risks of our clients' operations, including completed operations, in the context of the available insurance structures and products. Based on that analysis, we assist in the design of our clients' insurance strategies, ranging from coverage for specific projects, assets, investments, and transactions, to enterprise-wide insurance programs.
Insurance Policy Reviews
We analyze and critique proposed insurance policy forms and endorsements in light of our comparative risk evaluations, our litigation experience, and the real estate product types involved.
Negotiating And Documenting Coverage Clarifications And Enhancements
We employ our legal critiques of policy forms and endorsements as the basis for obtaining coverage clarifications and enhancements for our clients' benefit. We regularly negotiate and draft manuscript policy wording.
Legal Structuring, Implementation, And Performance Of Wrap-Up Insurance Programs (OCIPs And CCIPs)
Beginning with our experience as coverage counsel for owners and developers on some of the first residential wrap-ups in the United States, we have developed broad and deep expertise in residential and commercial wrap-up insurance programs. We have experience with projects including single family detached residences, apartments, master planned communities, condominiums (including shelf condominiums), adaptive reuse, condominium conversions, mixed-use, resort and hospitality, healthcare, and commercial.
We routinely handle such legal issues as:
Implementation of the wrap-up via specially tailored insurance exhibits to construction contracts
Drafting wrap-up contractual disclosures under California law
Negotiating and documenting contract provisions relating to calculation and collection of insurance credits and relating to deductible and self-insured retention (SIR) contributions by enrolled parties
The effect of the wrap-up coverage on enrolled parties' indemnity obligations
Reduction or release of collateral under wrap-ups with large SIRs and under wrap-ups providing workers' compensation coverage
Resolution of coverage issues under wrap-ups during the course of construction, including the interface between wrap-up liability coverage and builder's risk coverage
Contractual Insurance Requirements And Implementation Of Insurance Programs
To maximize our clients' protection from other parties' insurance, we draft, critique, and negotiate insurance requirements in every type of real estate and construction contract. We integrate our clients' insurance programs with their other project documents, including by rollout initiatives and legal training, to optimize the effectiveness of their risk management strategies.
Prosecuting Insurance Claims In Pre-litigation Settings
As a result of our insurance litigation expertise, we are uniquely positioned to analyze, negotiate, and resolve complex insurance coverage claims outside of litigation. Our experience extends to both property and liability policies, including commercial general liability (both conventional annual renewal and wrap-up policies), umbrella and excess liability, builder's risk, pollution legal liability, professional liability, owner's protective professional indemnity (OPPI), property coverages, and management liability coverages such as D&O. We assist our clients with enforcing their policy rights, including:
The duty to defend in a variety of liability insurance coverage settings
Settlement and coverage obligations of liability insurers in connection with a wide range of claims, including construction defects, earth movement and subsidence, design professional errors and omissions, general contractor and subcontractor negligence, pollution liability, and personal and advertising injury offenses such as defamation
Application and satisfaction of deductibles and SIRs, including use of other parties' resources to satisfy retentions and the effect of the "made whole" rule
Priority of coverages, including disputes arising out of the policies' "other insurance" provisions
Analyzing the nature, scope, and timing of property damage in order to trigger the most advantageous policy or policies to respond to the claim