The field or topic of "insurance" or "insurance law" is an extremely important part of the tort system and touches almost every aspect of the tort system. It is often commented that "insurance drives the torts system" so there is little wonder that disputes involving insurance coverage arise very often. These disputes may range from whether a particular liability claim is covered thereby giving rise to an insurance company’s duty to defend or pay on behalf of the insured. These disputes may also involve issues on whether the coverage exists under a particular insurance policy in the first place for the type of claim made against the insured.
Many times a person or business may qualify for insurance coverage under more than one policy issued by different insurance companies and disputes arise over which insurance company has the primary duty to defend or pay. Because insurance companies have duties to their insured's under specific statutes and as well as the contract for insurance itself, insured’s may claim that a specific insurance company has breached those duties giving rise to claim for “bad faith” against the insurance company. Disputes over insurance coverage are as wide ranging and diverse as the types of tort claims that may be covered in a policy.
Very importantly, insurance coverage disputes also arise on a very regular basis in the context of so-called “first party” claims -- a claim not for tort liability coverage, but for payment for a loss experienced by the insured him or herself. The “first party” insurance coverage issues are also very diverse and, among countless others, may involve questions of the scope of the insurance company’s duty to pay for property damage to an insured’s home or lost profits to damaged business. All types of insurance litigation are governed not only by the policy of insurance in question but also by numerous statutes and regulations. Waldrop & Hall represents insurance companies in all facets of these disputes in both State and Federal courts. Likewise, among other types of coverages, Waldrop & Hall litigates these issues for companies issuing private automobile, homeowner’s, commercial general liability, commercial automobile, professional liability, and health insurance.