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Insurance Recovery

Key Contact(s)

Strong Advocates for Policyholders

Bracewell’s insurance team helps corporate policyholders get the most out of their insurance coverage. We work with clients throughout the world in developing creative litigation, mediation, arbitration and settlement strategies on a range of matters, including commercial property and business interruption, cyber, directors’ and officers’, E&O, intellectual property and other types of commercial coverage.

Our team has a proven track record of successfully negotiating with and litigating against major insurers in the United States and abroad.

We have helped clients recover by obtaining policy proceeds from major disasters, such as:

  • the COVID-19 pandemic
  • the 9/11 terrorists attacks
  • accounting scandals
  • virtually every hurricane and named storm in the US and Caribbean over the last 20 years
  • other natural disasters, such as the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan and the 2021 winter storm in Texas
  • the Deepwater Horizon oil spill
  • major wildfires in California and Texas
  • business-threatening cyberattacks

We are strong advocates for our clients, always mindful of commercial concerns that may influence how we approach a given matter.

With a deep understanding of the insurance business and the needs of our clients, we are recognized as a go‐to coverage firm by leading international insurance brokers and consultants, who frequently refer their clients to us when coverage issues arise.

Placement Assistance, Policy Reviews & Program Audits

The best way to ensure an insurance recovery is to get it right from the very beginning.

We work closely with our corporate clients, as well as their brokers and other advisors, to evaluate potential exposures and proposed policy wording when needed. Our team provides assessments at all levels of coverage, helping to seek enhancements when possible and ensuring that our clients are comfortable with their programs. When necessary, we provide guidance and counsel for clients as they deal with their brokers and insurers.

Our experience in handling coverage disputes, combined with an understanding of market indicators, enables us to identify improvements in policy language. As situations change over the course of time, we help clients understand what is attainable depending on the policy language and provide advice as to what may be achievable enhancements to their coverage.

Should a dispute arise, our team is highly capable of advocating and litigating for coverage rights, contributing to our clients’ bottom line by obtaining recoveries.

Insurance policies that we routinely review include:

  • property and business interruption
  • product contamination and recall coverage
  • reps and warranties
  • D&O, E&O, fiduciary and other professional lines
  • construction, including OCIPs and CCIPs
  • cyber insurance
  • pollution liability insurance
  • other specialty coverages

Contractual Risk Management

We design and implement contractual risk management techniques, including insurance procurement and indemnity provisions, being mindful of additional insured issues such as those we litigated in disputes related to the Deepwater Horizon disaster and major wildfires. We also advised companies in connection with issues raised by the COVID-19 pandemic and Winter Storm Uri in Texas.

We take a risk-focused approach to this work, as the activities our clients undertake have varying risks, which often warrants differing contract terms. We use a similar risk-focused approach to compliance, as many companies cannot, or do not wish to, dedicate the resources to audit every single contract that contains insurance procurement provisions. 

Our indemnity work helps ensure that our clients know what risks they are taking on and what risks they are transferring to others so they can be consistent with their desired risk profile. We focus on special concerns such as anti-indemnity statutes concerning construction, public projects and the extraction of natural resources such as oil and gas, along with crafting provisions that comply with permissible exceptions.

Transactional Matters

Due diligence into a target company’s insurance program is necessary for any potential merger or acquisition of investment. With one of the strongest corporate teams in the United States, we know how deals are done and understanding a company’s insurance program is crucial to assess potential risk. In most cases, this due diligence is completed by brokers, but their work is not privileged. For any acquirer or investor, it is critical to understand the amounts, terms, quality and types of insurance. We help identify whether the policies are adequate, and confirm they are at a level that protects any potential veil‐piercing.

We focus on legal issues such as:

  • ensuring the benefits of insurance policies can be properly transferred
  • designing runoff or tail coverage
  • structuring coverage to match the terms of the transaction documents
  • assessing potential and pending claims
  • evaluating whether these claims have been properly reported

In addition, we help clients place reps and warranties policies in transactions, along with submitting claims and pursuing recoveries when those policies are triggered.

Image: Firefighters fighting a fire

Market-Leading Engagements

  • Fortune 500 energy company in connection with its alleged role in a pipeline rupture that occurred on tribal land in Payne County, Oklahoma
  • Fortune 500 energy company in connection with a major contingent business interruption claim following a pipeline explosion in Kentucky
  • Fortune 500 industrial company in eight-figure wildlife insurance claims related to the 2020 California Silverado Fire
  • Global chemical company in a class-action lawsuit involving a large manufacturing facility fire in 2021
  • Large waster disposal company in an insurance claim relating to a fire that destroyed one of its recycling facilities in Chicago
  • Private equity fund as the insured in a $30 million claim in policy limits, as well as bad faith concerning reps and warranties coverage in connection with a $575 million M&A transaction
  • Stadium owner in several insurance claims and lawsuits filed against it following multiple fatalities at the 2021 Astroworld Festival in Houston