Child Victims Act Claims Coverage Counsel
States across the nation—including New York, Arizona, Montana, New Jersey, and California—have passed Child Victims Act (CVA) legislation extending the statute of limitations for alleged child sexual abuse and establishing lookback periods for reviving claims. From the inception of the first CVA in New York State, Goldberg Segalla’s nationwide team of experienced insurance coverage attorneys has led the discussion on the risks, implications, and claims-handling considerations of the acts, writing and presenting on coverage issues nationally and in multiple states across our footprint.
National and Regional Coverage Counsel
Our over-75-lawyer Global Insurance Services practice, which Law360 ranked one of the largest in the United States, exists to serve insurers, reinsurers, and all others operating in the insurance arena—and we are recognized authorities on CVA-related insurance coverage issues across our footprint. Our attorneys have experience dealing with decades-old claims, handling a low standard of evidence, and establishing state-specific strategies for carriers who haven’t set aside money for these types of claims. Most of all, with a footprint that stretches across the United States and a national team dedicated to handling CVA-related claims, our attorneys have established careful protocols to avoid taking contradictory positions across jurisdictions. Our CVA coverage practice is distinguished by:
- National platform and claims-handling capabilities
- State-specific knowledge and regulatory relationships
- Timely and informed response protocols for handling hundreds of claims
- Strategic guidance on handling matters involving lost policies
- Experience handling decades-old claims with lost or incomplete policy information
- Dedication to providing opinion letters to shape state policy
With a team that stretches from Long Island to Los Angeles, we have the reach, bench strength, and experience to handle CVA claims across the nation while maintaining consistency in every jurisdiction, knowing that what we do in one state will have an impact on claims in the other.
With many of the claims arising from abuse occurring as far back as the 1950s, issues relating to lost policies are often a significant factor. If a policy can’t be located, secondary evidence such as partial policies and declarations pages, unexecuted policy forms, certificates of insurance, subsequent policies, records produced by insurance brokers, proof of premium payment during the relevant time period, excess policies identifying the policy number of the lost policy, and the insured’s testimony relating to procurement of the lost policy have often been permitted to establish a policy’s existence.
After the existence of the policy is established, we assist in identifying the relevant terms and provisions of the policy that may apply to the relevant claim. This includes identifying the type and amount of coverage available, and the existence of any potential exclusions that may act to preclude coverage. As the majority of claims will be submitted under occurrence-based general-liability policies, we anticipate coverage litigation will focus on whether there is an occurrence necessary to trigger coverage and the number of occurrences alleged that may fall within the scope of coverage. Insurers also have to be wary of the timeline of the notice of claims, and remain diligent in identifying the timeline of the insured’s notice of the occurrence, claim, or suit, as compared to when notice was provided to the insurer, to ensure the insured’s compliance with the policy’s notice requirements.
Goldberg Segalla has served as national coverage counsel on similarly sensitive claims. Our national practice is supported by various state coverage leaders—each charged with the task of assisting and partnering with our client community on state-specific coverage issues like CVA-related claims. We navigate state insurance and financial services departments in all 50 states—taking an active role in monitoring how carriers are handling these claims and coordinating nationally to avoid any potential conflicting positions that could be exploited by claimants, the insureds, or any regulatory body.
As a go-to firm for several of the world’s leading insurers and reinsurers, Goldberg Segalla provides invaluable insight related to the day-to-day regulatory issues facing the insurance industry and the most effective methods in addressing even the most complex regulatory challenges. Our team has a record of helping clients resolve issues before regulatory bodies, respond to inquiries or investigations, and maintain positive relationships with regulatory authorities. Our regulatory experience also allows us to put pressure on the normal claims-handling process.
Our combination of international experience, market savvy, and worldwide reach makes Goldberg Segalla particularly well suited to help clients implement successful regulatory strategies and navigate this highly nuanced environment. As widely recognized thought leaders in the insurance and reinsurance arena, we regularly advise on emerging trends, legal issues, and the activities of state and federal insurance regulators, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), surplus lines stamping offices, the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS), and other bodies that shape insurance regulatory policies, including Lloyd’s of London.
We understand that the issue of how an insurer handles a claim or a request for coverage has become as important as the threshold issue of whether there is coverage at all—and we believe that defending such a claim requires proactive management from day one. In fact, our practice includes one of the foremost bad faith expert witnesses—Thomas F. Segalla, a founding partner of the firm and editor of Couch on Insurance, who has testified in more than 40 different jurisdictions as an expert witness on bad faith.
We commence early motion practice to dismiss bad faith and extracontractual claims at the onset of litigation, thereby ensuring the proper confines of discovery. From the beginning, we identify and interview key employees, assess all documentation, and involve necessary experts. CVA claims present unique bad faith and extracontractual risks, and our team is prepared to advise insurers on developing strategies to mitigate these risks, as well as to defend any bad faith claims that do arise.
June 8, 2020
March 31, 2020
January 7, 2020