Chicago Insurance Litigation Lawyer
Helping Policyholders Resolve Insurance Coverage Matters in Illinois and Nationwide
At King & Jones, our lawyers represent policyholders in litigation against their insurance companies to obtain the insurance protection they paid for. We have successfully prosecuted many cases against large insurance companies. Insurance policies are complicated, highly technical and voluminous contracts that even sophisticated business owners and corporate executives can have trouble thoroughly understanding. Instead, most policyholders rely on the representations of insurance agents and brokers that they are purchasing the right coverage for their needs.
When a claim arises, particularly high-dollar commercial claims, insurance companies can be slow to respond, acknowledge coverage and pay benefits. King & Jones is experienced helping business owners get the benefit of their bargain when it comes to insurance. Our Chicago insurance litigation lawyers understand insurance terms and legal practice and are adept at analyzing an insurance contract and applying it to the facts at hand. For help with a property damage claim, business interruption, title insurance, liability or other insurance litigation matter in Chicago or nationwide, call the law firm of King & Jones at 312-372-4142 to speak with an experienced and successful insurance litigation attorney.
What is Insurance Bad Faith?
Every contract, including insurance policies, includes an implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing requiring the parties to act reasonably toward each other. This duty is codified in many state insurance codes. In the context of an insurance contract, this duty of good faith obligates insurers to pay valid claims without undue delay. On the one hand, it is reasonable to expect insurance companies to ensure that any claim is valid before paying benefits. A reasonable investigation into a claim could conceivably include:
- Making sure the policy is current and that premiums have been paid
- Requiring the policyholder to provide proof of loss with enough detail for the insurer to determine that the policy applies to the situation
- Requesting reasonable additional information from the insured to evaluate the claim
When requests for additional information are interminable, however, the question arises whether these requests are made not to evaluate the claim but to put off paying the claim, hoping the claimant will give up or fail to respond. Requests like these might be evidence of insurance bad faith. Other bad faith insurance tactics could be:
- A failure to respond or investigate a claim
- Denying coverage without providing a valid reason
- Failing to defend a claim against the policy holder
- Unreasonable delay in processing a claim
- Rescinding a policy to avoid paying a claim
- Making an unreasonably low offer of benefits/undervaluing the claim
What Insurance Claims Litigation Does King & Jones Handle?
King & Jones helps individuals and businesses in a wide range of insurance litigation. Our experience and capability include:
Property damage claims can be considerable; they could involve repairing or replacing property, buildings, machinery and equipment, as well as costs to cover moving, rental and storage for temporary quarters while repairs are underway. In a large commercial claim, insurers sometimes make a business decision to dispute liability and litigate rather than pay the claim outright. The insurance giants are content to drag out litigation as long as possible; meanwhile, you need benefits to meet payroll, make repairs and go on with your business. We’ll work to resolve your claim as quickly and efficiently as possible, representing your interests in arbitration or courtroom litigation, or seeking a declaratory judgment or injunction establishing your rights under the policy.
Many companies wisely include business interruption coverage under their property insurance policy. When property damage causes a company to shut down operations or lose business, business interruption coverage provides valuable benefits to make up for lost revenue. Even minor damage to property can be enough to keep customers away.
Aside from property damage, business interruption coverage might also apply to government-mandated closures of a business or a region due to natural disaster, disease outbreak or other emergencies. Insurance companies face a lot of exposure in these instances and might first try issuing blanket denials of claims. We take a hard look at your policy, and if your business interruption claim should be covered, rest assured we’ll fight to get you the benefits you’ve paid for.
Title insurance gives buyers of real property peace of mind that they are getting good title. If title defects exist due to a mistake in the deed, forgery, undisclosed heirs or other problems, the job of title insurance is to pay or defend claims against the property owner. Unfortunately, title insurance companies that don’t want to pay claims hide behind coverage exclusions, especially in complicated cases involving eminent domain, environmental regulations or other problems that impinge on property ownership.
Under a liability insurance policy, the insurer has a duty to pay valid claims brought against the insured or defend the insured in court if sued. Our team litigates coverage disputes when the insurer refuses to settle or defend the policyholder. Insurers can also be liable when they undertake the defense but expose the insured to extra-contractual liability. This situation occurs when the insurance company rejects a reasonable settlement demand within policy limits, takes the case to court and loses at trial, subjecting the insured to a jury verdict in excess of what the policy covers. We fight to enforce our clients’ rights to liability coverage and defense of third-party claims, including holding insurance companies responsible for any extra-contractual liability their actions incur.
Call King & Jones for Insurance Litigation in Chicago and Nationwide
At King & Jones, we have settled large property damage claims and successfully pursued bad faith claims. Our firm has handled several suits against liability insurance carriers, including claims seeking coverage for the cost of environmental remediation at former plant sites. We have also helped our clients obtain insurance coverage for toxic tort class action suits. The jury verdicts and settlements in these cases have exceeded $50 million.
If your insurance company is not providing the coverage you bought, call King & Jones in Chicago at 312-372-4142 to schedule an appointment with a team of experienced and successful Chicago insurance litigation lawyers.