Insurance

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.

Services Provided

Regulatory Compliance

Claims and Coverage Issues

Insurance Defense

Frequently Asked Questions

How are insurance companies regulated in Vermont and New Hampshire?

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.

What should my company do if it receives notice of a consumer complaint?

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.

Where can I find the insurance regulations and other regulatory information?

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.

My insurance company has denied coverage. What can I do?

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).

When are my children required to have their own auto insurance?

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

My dog bit someone when we were on vacation. Is that an insured event?

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.

What type of insurance applies to a fire loss?

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.

What experience does your Insurance group have trying cases on behalf of insureds?

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.

When and under what circumstances is a duty to defend triggered?

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.

Professionals

Shareholder
Manchester NH
(603) 626-3309
Associate
Manchester NH
(603) 626-3300 x1512
Associate
Littleton NH
(603) 444-4008, x1403
Shareholder / Director / Senior Vice President
Manchester NH
(603) 626-3304
Managing Shareholder / Chair, Board of Directors
Burlington VT
(802) 864-0880 x1209
Shareholder / Director / Treasurer
Manchester NH
(603) 626-3310
Shareholder / Director / President / Secretary
Littleton NH
(603) 444-4008 x1402
Shareholder / General Counsel
Camden ME||Littleton NH
(207) 618-6070 x1020
Shareholder
Burlington VT||Washington DC
(802) 864-0880 x1208
Shareholder
Burlington VT||Montpelier VT
(802) 223-2102 x1108
Shareholder
Burlington VT||Washington DC
(802) 864-0880 x1223
Senior Counsel
Burlington VT
(802) 862-0500
Associate
Burlington VT||Washington DC
(802) 864-0880 X1237
Shareholder
Burlington VT||Portsmouth NH
(802) 864-0880
Shareholder / Director
Burlington VT
(802) 864-0880
Paralegal
Manchester NH
(603) 626-3328