Common derailments to insurance coverage dispute cases

There are specific procedural mishaps that are common to many insurance coverage disputes. For this reason, it is a good idea for those involved in an insurance dispute to be cognizant of the recurring adversarial issues that routinely come up in such cases. It also helps to have professional legal assistance. A lawyer can actively try to avoid any bumps in the legal process.

Some complexities arise in the discovery process, for example. The problem is that many discovery requests do not add to the case. Requests for the claims manual, the underwriting manual and reinsurance are just some of the discovery demands common to an insurance disputes. Scholars explain that these discovery requests are often intended to place pressure on the insurance company; however, professionals note that this can backfire.

In fact, far-reaching discovery is frivolous, and often creates animosity among participants of the case. Instead of moving forward, many cases are hampered by years of unnecessary discovery proceedings.

Another issue in insurance cases can involve the use of expert witnesses. Experts are commonly hired to testify on the facts of a case. Experts are utilized - even when they are not needed. For this reason, it is important that parties begin examining the required elements of proof for experts from the onset of the case.

It is important to note that some experts are prohibited. The use of an expert in a bad faith claim can also backfire. This might be applicable, for example, when a plaintiff attempts to use an expert witness for policy interpretation. With proper preparation, a defense attorney can keep the testimony off the record three out of four times. This is because the expert testimony must be on a topic concerning something outside of general knowledge. As a result, policy language often does not require an expert.

An additional problem that can derail a case is when the duty to cooperate in a claims investigation is avoided. The investigation is designed to help the insurance company assess whether the insured is actually covered. An exception may apply in some cases. If the insured does not cooperate in an investigation, this will usually trigger further court actions, which ultimately order the insured to cooperate.

These procedural problems are common to insurance disputes and can potentially drag on a matter unnecessarily. Other problems might concern late notice, consent to settle, collusion, reimbursement of defense costs or failure to exhaust primary coverage.

If your company is presented with an insurance dispute, it is imperative to have qualified legal assistance. A firm versed in insurance law can help expedite the matter in an efficient way. To learn more, speak to an insurance law attorney in your area.