“Very few insurance professionals or attorneys are conversant in both insurance law and bankruptcy law,” writes Goldberg Segalla’s Eric A. Fitzgerald in an article for Law360. “These basic principles can give the claim professional the tools to ask the right questions and immediately protect the rights of the insurer.”
With bankruptcies on the rise as a consequence of COVID-19, the probability of policyholders filing bankruptcy petitions before, during, or after an active claim is also increasing. In the article, Eric delivers five basic principles to follow and details what happens to both the claim and the policy. He also added that the most important takeaway is to never assume that a bankruptcy filing excuses performance by the insurer or the debtor insured.
“It is important to remain as vigilant in the investigation and resolution of claims as if there were no bankruptcy filing,” Eric writes. “This is so even if all litigation involving the insured has been stayed. Never assume that the policy will be abandoned in bankruptcy. It is an asset of the insured, and it will play a role in the administration of the insured’s estate.”
“An Insurer’s Guide to Policyholder Bankruptcy,” Law360, June 24, 2021
A leader of Goldberg Segalla’s Global Insurance Services team in Pennsylvania, Eric A. Fitzgerald acts as coverage counsel for insurance companies in state and federal courts throughout Pennsylvania and New York. Eric’s extensive experience in a wide variety of professional, casualty, property, and special lines include: errors and omissions (E&O); cyber; directors and officers (D&O); employment practices liability; law enforcement liability; commercial property; boiler and machinery; inland marine; builder’s risk; owner controlled insurance programs (OCIPs); commercial auto; and workers’ compensation. In addition, Eric has served as both a mediator and an arbitrator in insurance coverage disputes.