COVID-19 Insurance Claims

Larkin Hoffman represents property-casualty insurance policyholders in insurance disputes—never insurance companies. The losses stemming from COVID-19 have and will raise complex issues not only under property and business interruption policies but also liability policies. Claims are already arising against directors, officers and employers relating to the sufficiency of steps taken to protect employees and others. As businesses see governmental orders and illness affect their supply chains and employees, the ability to perform under contracts can be affected.  We frequently review the specific circumstances of property-casualty policyholders’ losses and advise on options for recovery.

It takes an enormous effort to recover significant amounts from insurance companies. Experienced leadership, great teamwork and outstanding research are the keys to our success. 

Our attorneys have decades of experience representing corporate policyholders. We take the time to learn our clients’ industries and, specifically, how they operate in those industries. Knowing what a client had insured and why it matters to their business is the natural starting point for our team. We dig deeper to learn what the insurance company promised and what our clients relied on to protect themselves.

We have handled insurance coverage matters for clients in a number of industries, including manufacturing, construction, retail, franchise, medical device, agriculture, financial, electronics and professional services. We also have significant experience with nearly every type of insurance policy, including commercial liability, property, builders risk, construction bond, fidelity bond, directors and officers, errors and omissions, cyber, employment practices, inland marine, and environmental legal liability. 

Even with the most thorough policy review, it is inevitable that insurance carriers will reject some covered claims leaving our clients with no choice but to fight it out in court. We are comfortable to appear in the courtroom for them. We have tried cases across the country in federal courts and in the courts of over thirty states. Specifically, we have attorneys with extensive trial experience in insurance coverage claims including environmental, directors and officers, workers compensation, bad faith, and property claims. We also are regularly involved in insurance appraisals and arbitrations.

Advice and Counseling:

We advise our clients on alternatives to trial every step of the way. We understand that our clients are cost conscious and we demand every effort on our own part to get matters resolved in a timely, effective manner. In many cases, we review policies for our clients before they purchase their insurance coverage. This is a very effective way to keep litigation costs from ever occurring.  

We are committed to this area of law and have always shared our knowledge with others. We regularly present at local and national conferences on insurance recovery and provide custom educational sessions to our clients on numerous insurance topics. Let Larkin Hoffman help you navigate this complex, but important area of risk management.   

Common Areas and Issues:

Here are some common coverage issues and matters we handle:

• Business interruption
• Construction bond
• Defamation 
• Directors & Officers liability
• Employment practices liability
• Environmental
• Fiduciary liability
• Financial insurance products
• Indemnity and additional insured clauses
• Miller Shugart (Consent Judgment) Settlements
• Political risk
• Products/Completed Operations
• Professional liability
• Property loss
• Recovery from state insurance liquidators and guarantee funds
• Self-insurance/captives
• Workers’ compensation

Representative Cases and Trials:

  • Selective Ins. Co. of South Carolina v. Sela, No. 16-CV-04077 PJS-BRT (D. Minn.)  Succesful jury trial on coverage and subsequent bad faith trial.
  • SWLP v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyds of London, No. 2018 A.P. 1926, 2019 WL 6121350 (Wisc. Ct. App. Nov. 19, 2019).  Successfully established trigger of coverage for continuous third-party property damage.
  • Western Nat’l Mut. Ins. Co. v. Prospect Foundry, No. A17-0992,   (Minn. Ct. App. April 16, 2018).  Jury verdict of insurance coverage and breach by insurer of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing.
  • The Landings Homeowners Association v. Delos Ins. Co., No. 27-CV-13-7193, Hennepin County, MN.  Successful jury verdict on significant hail loss claim.
  • Alerus Financial Nat’l Assoc. v. St. Paul Mercury Ins. Co., No. 27-CV-09-334, Hennepin County, MN.  Obtained insurance coverage for a number of banks who were victims of a ponzi scheme.

Recent Publications and Presentations:

  • "Legal and Communication Strategies in the Age of Outrage," Presentation with David Heinsch, V.P. of Padilla at Minnesota Risk Insurance  Management Society Meeting, Nov. 19, 2019
  • "What If: Insurance and Legal Issues Regarding Cyber Liability," Presentation at Construction Partnering Program with the Association of Women Contractors, Nov. 13, 2019
  • "2019 Cyber Risk Summit," Seminar presenter at Atomic Data organized by Kraus-Anderson Insurance, Sept. 12, 2019
  • "Exactly Who is Insured Under Your Insurance Policy?" Larkin Hoffman Real Estate and Construction Blog, August 21, 2019
  • "It Cannot Be Hearsay if You Said It: Statements of Brokers as Representations of the Insurer in Minnesota," Survey of Insurance Law, TIPS Law Journal, Vol. 52, 2019
  • "Insurability of Punitive Damages in Minnesota," Insurance Law Deskbook, Chapter 9 (Minnesota CLE, 2019)
  • "Responding to Cyber Risk: An Insurance and Risk Management Panel," Seminar on issues of legal and regulatory compliance at Kraus-Anderson to the Minnesota Society of Professional Engineers, April 25, 2019
  • "D&O Renewal: Ways to Avoid Buyers Remorse or Worse," In-office presentation to clients and invitees, co-presented with Max Levy of American Insurance Agency, Inc., April 24, 2019
  • "Cyber and Network Interruption v. Business Interruption Coverage Overlaps and Gaps," CLE and ABA-TIPS Midyear Meeting, February 23, 2019
  • "Representations by Insurance Agents: Are They Binding on the Carrier? A Case Study," CLE and ABA-TIPS Midyear Meeting, February 22, 2019
  • "Coverage for Construction Defect Claims: Property Damage, Occurrence and Notice," Construction Defect Litigation, Minnesota CLE May 9, 2018
  • "Extracontractual Insurance Claims: Preparing and Responding to Policy Limit and Time Limit Demands," ABA-TIPS Section Conference, May 2, 2018, Los Angeles, California
  • "The Heat Is On: Hot Topics in the World of Insurance," 26th Annual Insurance Coverage Litigation Midyear Conference, Opening Remarks as Committee Chair, February 2018
  • "Insurance Transfer in Asset Deals/Stock Deals," CLE at ABA-TIPS Midyear Meeting, February 20, 2016
  • "Insurability of Punitive Damages in Minnesota," Minnesota CLE Webcast, February 17, 2016
  • "Teachable Moments from 2015’s Landmark Insurance Cases - Practical Takeaways to Keep Your Company Off the List in 2016," (panel), Annual Meeting of Minnesota Chapter of Risk and Insurance Management Society, January 28, 2016 (non-CLE)
  • "Superfund Redux," Insurance Implications Based Upon New Vapor Intrusion Guidelines, CLE and ABA-TIPS Midyear Meeting, February 19, 2015
  • "When the Chickens Come Home to Roost - Crisis Management for Cyber Breach," Minnesota Chapter of Risk and Insurance Management Society, May 18, 2015
  • "Allocation," The Reference Handbook on the Commercial General Liability Policy, 2nd Ed., Chapter 13 (ABA 2014)