Insurance Claims

22 Dec: THE PERILS OF EMPLOYEE HOLIDAY PARTIES

 It is that time of year again when office holiday parties are frequent, and alcoholic beverages are often served at these employer-sponsored events. The question is: if someone in attendance is injured because of an accident arising during or even after the event, is the employer liable? A number of cases have – not surprisingly – addressed these sort of issues regarding claims against employers for injuries arising from such holiday or other employer-sponsored events.  For example, in Purton v. Marriott Int’l, Inc., 218 Cal. App. 4th 499 (2013), the plaintiffs sought to hold a hotel employer liable for the vehicular homicide committed by one of its employees following a company holiday party.  In Purton, the hotel employer asked the trial court to dismiss the civil case on the basis that the employee was “not acting within the scope of his employment” at the time of the fatal accident, which…

16 Oct: MAKING AN INSURANCE CLAIM FOR PROPERTY DAMAGE AFTER A LOSS: SOME BASICS

Those who suffered property losses in the Northern California wildfires are no doubt struggling with insurance claims and the “process” of getting payment for losses they suffered under their property insurance coverage – a Homeowner’s Policy or Commercial General Liability Policy (for businesses).  It can be a difficult and confusing process.  No matter what the claim, there are some basics that you need to be aware of in making a claim for property damage when you are seeking to collect from your insurance company  in order to have the funds to restore the property to its pre-loss condition. Frankly, most of us never look at our insurance policies until we have a loss and claim.  So there may be some surprises as to what you have or do not have.  Here are some thoughts: Notify the Insurance Company:Call the Agent (company representative) or Broker (your representative) or claims contact (toll…

16 Oct: Making Your Insurance Claim After the NorCal Fires

SOME BASICS Those who suffered property losses in the Northern California wildfires are no doubt looking to insurance coverage to restore the damaged property.  Most of us never look at our insurance policies until we have a loss and claim.  That means there may be some surprises as to what you have or do not have in terms of coverage.  Here are some thoughts: Notify the Insurance Company: Call the Agent (company representative), Broker (your representative), or claims contact (toll free number directly to the company) to give notice of your claim.  There will be thousands of claims and you need to get at the front of the line. More on Whom to Contact: If you have an Agent or Broker, call them. If you purchased the coverage directly from the company (USAA, GEICO, Progressive), use the toll free number which you can get on the internet at the insurance…

08 Aug: Best Practice: When to Stay in an Insurance Coverage Action

BEST PRACTICE: WHEN TO STAY IN AN INSURANCE COVERAGE ACTION I recently came across this helpful article by fellow insurance attorney for policyholders, Erica Villanueva at the fine firm of Farella Braun + Martel LLP here in San Francisco.  Her summary of recent appellate court decisions includes pointers for attorneys in seeking a Motion to Stay an insurance coverage action: “When a liability insurer wishes to avoid all coverage obligations with respect to a claim against its insured, it may seek an adjudication that it has no duty to defend or indemnify the policyholder.  If the insurer files for such declaratory relief while the underlying litigation is still pending, California insureds will frequently move to stay the coverage action, pursuant to Montrose Chemical Corp. v. Superior Court, 6 Cal. 4th 287 (1993) (“Montrose I”).  The purpose of such a Montrose stay is to avoid the risk of prejudice to the insured in…