Property Litigation, Insurance Fraud and Special Investigations
In response to a recent significant increase in questionable or fraudulent first-party insurance claims, several carriers have stepped up their efforts in the area of special investigations. The firm, with its experience in the areas of arson, vehicle theft and personal property theft, has become very active in assisting some of those insurers in their efforts to detect and deter such claims, both by conducting examinations of the insureds under oath and by vigorously defending such claims when they become lawsuits. In many instances, presumably because of the early and aggressive response, the claims do not become lawsuits.
In conjunction with the fraud and special investigations division, and because lawsuits are inevitable, the firm has substantially expanded its property division in recent years, to offer insurance carriers a full range of services, guidance and litigation assistance, where necessary, regarding homeowners and business coverage claims. Our work includes dealing with literally all aspects of property claims and related issues, such as demands for appraisal, “bad faith” notices to the Insurance Commissioner, the duties of both parties to the policy, the effect of misrepresentation by the insured either in the application or claims process, the availability of rescission, the application of estoppels, and the ever-increasing involvement of public adjusters in the entire process.