Whenever you think that an insurance policy may cover a claim or cause of action, the first step is to get complete copies of any potentially applicable policies. Never attempt to analyze coverage without a copy of the entire policy; an incomplete copy may lead you to reach an improper conclusion on coverage. Use this checklist to be sure that you have the entire policy.
If nothing else, recent natural disasters have shown us the importance of carefully reading insurance policies before we buy them. But many people won’t do that, so that leaves it to attorneys to figure out coverage after disaster strikes. Attorneys faced with this task need an organized approach to determining whether coverage exists.
As part of CEB’s commitment to bringing together California’s legal community, our blog will post a short interview with one of your fellow attorneys.
This week, we profile attorney and Consulting Editor of CEB’s new Property Insurance book Timothy R. Sullivan:
CEB: What are your practice areas and how/why did you choose or start in your practice area?
Tim: I started in insurance defense because I wanted to be in court.When I got out of law school, I had never even heard of insurance coverage. My firm asked me to work in coverage, and I really enjoy it. Now my practice is dedicated to insurance coverage and bad faith litigation. Over the years, I have been fortunate to be able to represent both policyholders and insurers. Our practice has grown to include both first party and third party claims under a wide range of policy types, so in that respect, my practice area is still evolving.
CEB: What do you like best and least about practicing law?
Tim: I don’t want to sound like Charlie Sheen, but I like winning. I also think coverage attorneys get to see the most interesting cases and characters, with fact patterns that sound like law school exams. Some of the most creative arguments are made to try to trigger coverage. I like the fact that I have to learn something new every day. What I like least is having to account for my day in 6-minute increments.