Insurance Claims & Coverage

Insurance Claims & Coverage

Overview

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.

Coverage Selection

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

Representative
Matters

Implemented numerous liability insurance owner-controlled wrap insurance (OCIP) programs for public and private homebuilders.

Represented a national public homebuilder in implementing a new, company-wide liability insurance program, which combined traditional CGL insurance with a special coverage for certain of the builder's warranty obligations to its customers, including legal review and negotiation of the insurance policy form and endorsements, and counsel on legal changes needed to the builder's consumer sales documents, warranty form and operations procedures to implement the new insurance program.

On behalf of a large, private homebuilder, negotiated the terms of retention buy-down policy to restructure self-insured retentions applicable to builder's portfolio of commercial general liability policies.

Represented a large Southern California property owner in the design, structuring, and implementation of a $100 million rolling OCIP for a portfolio of mixed-use projects comprised of over 2,000 condominium and apartment units and over 100,000 square feet of retail space.

Served as insurance coverage and personal counsel in obtaining a favorable mediated settlement of a multi-million dollar condominium conversion construction defect suit in Boston, Massachusetts by the project homeowners association, with the bulk of the settlement funding contributed by liability insurers for other parties and for our client, the converter.

Obtained a favorable settlement for a national REIT under its permanent property insurance policy for a substantial water intrusion loss involving multiple dwelling units and common area in a major mixed-use development.

Attorneys &
Paralegals

Name Title City Phone  
Masters, Jeffrey D. Partner Los Angeles 310.284.2239
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McGovern, Patrick Senior Counsel Los Angeles 310.284.2298
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Musitano, John R. Partner Los Angeles 310.284.2212
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Stewart, Sandra C. Partner Los Angeles 310.284.2250
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