Goldberg Segalla founding partner, Tom Segalla, and Colleen Murphy, leader of the firm’s insurance regulatory team, recently published “Bad Faith as a Continuum” on LexisNexis in the Practical Guidance section. Demonstrating their decades of experience with insurance law, the article analyzes the current bad faith claims environment and offers guidance on what claims professionals can do to avoid or mitigate the risk of a bad faith claim.
Tom is a well-known and highly respected thought leader in the area of bad faith and co-author of the renowned insurance law treatise Couch on Insurance 3d. He serves as editor of the Reinsurance Professional’s Deskbook published by Thomson Reuters and DRI, and has published and lectured extensively for many professional organizations. Tom is frequently called upon by major insurance carriers and policyholders as a bad faith and insurance coverage expert across the United States.
Colleen, also an established thought leader, has been published extensively in the Insurance Journal, Professional Liability Magazine, and Inside Counsel, among others. Colleen is well known for her work on high profile bad faith litigation matters in multiple jurisdictions.
Together, Tom and Colleen break down the basic elements and legal framework that surround bad faith claims and provide practical guidance, covering common traps, do’s and don’ts, along with checklists and resources for handling claims.
They state “Education, not insensitivity, cynicism, or bias, is the principal tool in fulfilling an implied covenant of good faith and fair implicit in the insurance policy, thereby avoiding bad faith. Even the most educated claims professional can be blindsided in the claims handling and litigation processes, absent a clear understanding of the bad faith ‘setup’ and an actual awareness of who set the trap.”
Finally, Tom and Colleen stress the importance of education in these matters and say “Employ education, awareness, information, and communication, coupled with an attitude of reciprocity (e.g., ‘do unto others as you would like them to do onto you’). The educated insurance representative will enable defense counsel to properly evaluate and successfully litigate bad faith cases. While the insurance company controls the claims and litigation process contractually through policy language, that ability should not create the perception that company interests predominate over those of the insured.”
READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE: “Bad Faith as a Continuum,” LexisNexis, November 2, 2023 (Subscription required)
MORE ABOUT GOLDBERG SEGALLA’S THOMAS F. SEGALLA:
Thomas Segalla is a nationally recognized authority on bad faith, reinsurance, and insurance, an ARIAS-U.S. Certified Arbitrator and mediator, and a founding partner of the firm. He has been retained as counsel and as a consultant by numerous major insurance carriers and policyholders in more than 40 jurisdictions nationally and internationally, and has served as an expert witness in more than 100 bad faith, coverage, and extracontractual cases across the country. His practice focuses on the insurance coverage and claims-handling process of matters involving bad faith; defense; construction site personal injury accidents (Labor Law §§ 200, 240(1) and 241(6)); toxic tort and environmental issues; and extracontractual, product liability, professional liability and railroad litigation. He also has experience representing and advising life science, pharmaceutical, and medical device industry clients. In 2016, Tom was honored with the Distinguished Alumni Award for Private Practice by the State University of New York at Buffalo Law Alumni Association in recognition of his contributions to the legal profession and the community in which he serves.
MORE ABOUT GOLDBERG SEGALLA’S COLLEEN MURPHY:
As a leader of Goldberg Segalla’s insurance regulatory team, Colleen M. Murphy taps into her deep insurance regulatory experience to successfully handle domestic and international insurance and reinsurance regulatory issues and transactions. Representative transactions include leading the team that helped Mitsui Sumitomo close a $350 million cross-border Insurtech acquisition. Colleen’s expertise is frequently called on in complex insurance coverage and bad faith litigation across the country. She has worked extensively alongside Thomas Segalla, author of the renowned insurance law treatise Couch on Insurance 3d, on numerous matters in which he was retained as a bad faith and insurance coverage expert by major insurance carriers and policyholders in jurisdictions across the United States. Colleen also counsels and defends clients including sureties, stop loss insurers, plan administrators, insurance agents and brokers, and trustees in the context of civil litigation, arbitrations, and regulatory actions arising out of all forms of self-funded health plans, under ERISA as well as municipal self-funded plans.