Transportation Coverage

In any transportation coverage analysis, it is imperative to understand the relationship of the parties involved (vehicle/truck owner, lessor, lessee, trailer owner), as well as the contractual relationship and additional insured status of various parties. Often there are issues regarding property damage, underinsured motorist coverage, excess/primary insurance obligations, worker's compensation, permissive use, and scope of employment. All of this must be examined in conjunction with the extensive statutory and regulatory scheme governing commercial and personal transportation. If one thing is key, it is an understanding that a few key facts, technical knowledge, or statutory twist may mean the difference between success and failure when it comes to transportation insurance coverage issues.

Goldberg Segalla’s Global Insurance Services Group includes a number of key partners who are national leaders in the area of transportation coverage. Between insurance policies and other business relationships, most companies involved in transportation are looking to achieve a seamless blanket of risk protection regarding operations. While no risk management plan can be truly seamless, we counsel clients in accomplishing this goal through coverage analysis and recommendations tailored to the industry. We work collaboratively with our insurer clients in drafting policy language. Our attorneys have experience in assisting policyholders and self-insured entities in analyzing risks and exposures, and assisting with the procurement and placement of insurance coverage. We have also advised clients on a wide range of complex risk management issues and have provided them with guidance in selecting and implementing proactive risk management programs.

Our attorneys are accomplished speakers and presenters in air, rail, and highway insurance issues. Our group also includes the editor of the renowned Couch on Insurance treatise and authors of the Appleman on Insurance treatise. Our attorneys have spoken all over the world on transportation insurance topics and are sought after as experts in the field of insurance.

Representative Matters:

  • Goldberg Segalla attorneys were retained to represent an aviation insurer in a coverage dispute with its insureds, two aviation companies. The companies were sued after the death of a boater, and injuries to another, when their boat struck power cables during a construction project. Our client was sued by another carrier after taking a no coverage position, and we obtained dismissal of the high-exposure case after our coverage positon was upheld.
  • Goldberg Segalla attorneys successfully represented an insurer in a declaratory judgment action arising from a multi-party, multi-state rail loss where a rail broke free in one state and collided with a trail car in another. Several deaths occurred in one state, and several other injuries and property damage occurred in another. There were several layers of indemnity agreements and additional insurance. Through coverage litigation, we prevailed for our client on issues involving priority of coverage, scope of work, and indemnity.
  • Goldberg Segalla attorneys were retained by an insurer to provide advice, and recommended changes to their UM/UIM coverage and waiver forms issued to policyholders in Pennsylvania. We were retained because of our expertise in the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law and recent court decisions affecting how insurers should prepare their coverage forms in compliance with the laws. We recommended suggested changes to the clients’ forms, which will have a substantial impact on minimizing their exposure for UM/UIM claims going forward.
  • A trucking insurer retained us to file a declaratory judgment action, seeking to avoid coverage under a truck owner's underinsured motorist coverage, while at the same time attempting to show other available coverage. We prevailed in the case despite complex legal hurdles, including party and insurer insolvency, and policy drop-down provisions.
  • After a plane crash occurred due to concurrent causes (pilot error and tower error), separate liability actions resulted in different outcomes on whether the pilot’s conduct was grossly negligent. Our attorneys were retained by a carrier to devise a proactive coverage strategy, which resulted in an outcome most favorable to the coverage resolution.
  • After an aviation accident in the western U.S., our client’s insured faced multiple personal injury and property damage lawsuits. Goldberg Segalla attorneys were retained by the aviation insurer. Following our deep investigation into the complex facts of the case, various policy provisions potentially implicated by the accident, and highly specific jurisdictional rules and case law, our analysis helped the insurer manage risk appropriately and position itself to preserve available defenses.