Marina Sues Insurer For Denying Claim Regarding Commercial Vessel Damage

    Insurance Bad Faith ExpertThis case involves a maritime insurance bad faith claim. An insured marina sued their insurer for damages allegedly caused by the mismanagement of their claim. The insurance company denied coverage for a claim regarding internal damages to one of the marina’s frequently used commercial vessels on the basis of an exclusion written in the contract. The marina was under the impression that the language in the exclusion still allowed for coverage in this case scenario and claimed they would have never signed a contract with the insurer had they know this type of claim would not be covered. According to the insurance company, the marina wrongly interpreted exclusions before signing the contract. An expert in insurance contracts and claim handling was sought to evaluate the situation and provide an opinion as to whether or not shortcomings in claim handling caused damage to the policyholder and whether the position taken by the insurance company was reasonable.

    Question(s) For Expert Witness

    • 1. Please describe your experience working with insurance contracts and dealing with claim handling.

    Expert Witness Response E-044264

    I have 40 years of experience handling claims and directing their handling, including 20 + years as legal advisor to claims such as mold and environmental claims. Virtually all of this experience involved policy interpretation. I have testified in court as an expert witness on several occasions and have provided expert opinions in a number of other instances. Before entering law school, I was a claims adjuster and home office claims manager. After bar admission, I was employed as a home office claims attorney and then as the managing attorney responsible for bad faith claims and large losses. Later, I worked for another insurer as claims counsel with coverage interpretation responsibility for much of the country.

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