In addition to our Captive Insurance practice, our attorneys are known throughout New England for their experience resolving regulatory compliance, disputed coverage and insurance defense matters. Our insurance lawyers have successfully negotiated claims involving “stacked” or multiple policy limits, have prosecuted declaratory judgment actions upholding a single aggregate policy limit, and have helped clients avoid exposure for claims of “bad faith.” Our firm has extensive appellate expertise in insurance policy interpretation. Our insurance trial group regularly defends insureds for multiple carriers in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, in cases involving wrongful death, lead paint, brain injuries, product liability, automotive claims and premises liability.
- Policy form and RAT approvals
- Financial and market conduct examinations
- Administrative proceeding representation
- Legislative and other regulatory representation
Claims and Coverage Issues
- Claims administration for professional liability insurance & other programs
- Counsel on the establishment and maintenance of efficient claims handling processes for insurers
- Counsel on insurance coverage issues including duty to defend, reservation of rights, coverage denial, policy rescission, and good faith issues
- Defend insured businesses from personal injury and premises claims
- Defend insureds from motor vehicle related claims
- Defend insureds from homeowner related claims
- Defend high-exposure claims involving wrongful death, brain injuries, lead paint and product liability
Frequently Asked Questions
In Vermont, the Department of Financial Regulation’s Insurance Division is responsible for the regulation of insurance. The Insurance Division has a Deputy Commissioner, and its own attorneys that report to the General Counsel, rather than imbedded Assistant Attorney Generals. The New Hampshire Insurance Department is an independent regulatory agency charged with the enforcement of state insurance laws and regulation of insurance companies, agencies and adjusters. Our firm has good working relationships with the regulatory authorities in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.
The first notice of a consumer complaint will usually come in the form of a letter from Vermont, New Hampshire or Maine regulatory entities. The letter will enclose a copy of the complaint and request information and a response within a certain time frame. It is critical to make a timely and comprehensive response to any consumer complaint. Our firm’s attorneys can assist in responding to consumer complaints.
The New Hampshire Insurance Department, the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation and the Maine Insurance Department maintain comprehensive websites containing links to insurance regulations, insurance bulletins, consent and enforcement orders and market conduct reports and orders.
In both states you may challenge the coverage denial by filing a Petition for Declaratory Judgment. In New Hampshire those suits must be filed within six months of the underlying lawsuit to shift the burden of disproving coverage onto the carrier and to request attorney fees. (RSA 491:22).
Children are typically insured while operating their parents’ insured autos until they establish a separate residency. Unemancipated children are also typically covered while they are enrolled in college
Most homeowner’s policies provide liability coverage for dog bite claims regardless of where they occur if you disclosed owning the dog on your policy application. Many homeowner carriers refuse to insure Pit Bulls and Rottweiler’s.
In the event of a fire loss, the repair/replacement of the house and personal property is covered. If the house is uninhabitable, most policies extend additional living protection for the time it takes to repair/replace the home.
As a group, the lawyers in our group have tried hundreds of motor vehicle and premises liability cases in every New Hampshire and Vermont county. We are handling an increasing number of cases in Maine, as well. We are well known and respected by the Superior Court judges and their staff.
In Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, if the underlying complaint asserts any claim that, if proven, would be covered under the terms of the insurance policy, a duty to defend is triggered. If the insurer disputes the allegations in the plaintiff’s suit, it can defend under a reservation of rights and file a Petition for Declaratory Judgment. In Vermont declaratory judgment actions may be filed at any time. In New Hampshire, there a specific time limitations on when such actions must be brought. Maine limits the availability of declaratory judgment while an underlying case is pending.