Find Lawyers in Des Moines, Iowa for Insurance Law
Practice Area Overview
Insurance policies sold to corporate policyholders protect against a wide variety of risks, including liability or loss resulting from: (i) allegedly defective products (including medical devices and pharmaceuticals), (ii) data breaches and other internet-related claims, (iii) mass torts, including exposure to harmful substances such as asbestos and silica, (iv) property damage and business interruption, (v) man-made and natural disasters, (vi) securities and business torts (often involving shareholder class actions and/or SEC investigations and enforcement actions), (vii) environmental damage, (viii) employment claims (including worker’s compensation and discrimination claims), (ix) professional liability, and (x) and crime/fraud. The major types of insurance policies purchased by corporate policyholders include general liability policies, directors and officers liability policies, fiduciary liability policies, employment practices liability policies, errors and omissions and professional liability policies, first-party property and business interruption policies, marine insurance, crime/fraud policies, workers compensation policies, environmental impairment policies, and a wide variety of specialty products (e.g., media policies, satellite launch and in-orbit insurance, product recall policies, cargo policies, product tampering policies, event cancellation coverage). Major markets for buying and selling insurance include the United States, London, Bermuda, and Europe.
Insurance programs sold to and purchased by corporate policyholders typically include several layers of insurance, with a primary insurance policy that often sits above a deductible (or self-insured retention) and with multiple layers of excess policies sitting above the primary policy. Large claims can often implicate coverage under dozens of policies sometimes spanning years or decades. In contrast, individual policyholders typically purchase life insurance, health insurance, disability and/or long-term care insurance, homeowners or renters insurance, automobile insurance, and sometimes specialty insurance, such as coverage for jewelry or works of art, travel insurance, etc.
Law firms provide clients with insurance coverage counseling and advice on a wide array of issues, ranging from assessments of coverage for particular losses and representation in coverage disputes to providing help with assembling a coverage portfolio and formulating favorable policy language when insurance is being purchased or renewed. Firms also advise clients regarding the insurance assets being transferred in corporate transactions, with tax planning in connection with insurance payments or recoveries, and with alternative underwriting programs, such as captive insurance entities.
Policyholders and insurers dealing with significant losses often call on outside coverage counsel for advice and assistance in pursuing coverage or responding to claims for coverage, as the case may be. In the event of a dispute over coverage for a particular claim, the insurer and insured may resort to litigation, arbitration, or mediation to resolve their differences. If the parties proceed to litigation, the case may proceed in either federal or state court, even though the substantive insurance law issues are decided as a matter of state law. Some insurance policies require the parties to resolve coverage disputes through either domestic or international arbitration. In recent years, an increasing number of large disputes have been resolved through international arbitration, often in London or Bermuda. In many cases, experienced coverage counsel can facilitate resolution of a coverage dispute without having to resort to the courts (or to arbitration). In other cases, settlement negotiations proceed on a parallel track while the litigation (or arbitration) moves forward.
Deanna WilcoxCovington & Burling
Corporate Law & Commercial Litigation Legal Guide 2023View Legal Guide
Allison Abbott has been with Elverson Vasey since 1999 and has been a partner in the firm since 2006. Her areas of practice include civil defense, insurance litigation and defense, insurance subrogation, and family law. She is a member of the Iowa State Bar Association, Polk County Bar Association, Dallas County Bar Association, Iowa Defense Counsel Association and the Iowa Academy of Trial Lawyers. She is currently serving a term on the Dallas County Magistrate Nomination Commission. She ser...
Mark Dickinson is a member of the firm's Business, Finance, and Real Estate Department, and practices in the area of corporate and transactional law, with an emphasis on insurance regulatory matters, securities and corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions involving all sizes of businesses, and corporate governance. A significant portion of his practice is devoted to counseling Iowa domestic insurance companies, including with respect to matters pending before the Iowa Insurance Division. R...
Sean started his career in private practice with the Bradshaw Law Firm in 1996. Prior to joining Bradshaw, he clerked for Justice David Harris of the Iowa Supreme Court. Sean has also served as an adjunct professor in Drake University's Undergraduate and MBA programs lecturing on business law. Sean’s practice focuses on consulting with insurers on all aspects of catastrophic property loss claims. He advises clients on first party and third party coverage issues. He also defends insureds...
Jon was born in Sioux Falls, South Dakota in 1957. He attended the University of Iowa and graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in 1980. He earned his Juris Doctorate from Drake University in 1983 and was admitted to the Iowa State Bar that same year. Jon has received the highest possible rating in legal ability and ethical standards from Martindale-Hubbell, earning an AV Preeminent peer review rating. Jon is also included in Martindale-Hubbell’s Bar Register of Pr...
Spencer joined Elverson Vasey in 2018 after earning her Juris Doctorate with Highest Distinction from the University of Iowa College of Law, graduating in the top 3% of her class. Her practice focuses on insurance defense and subrogation, coverage opinions, family law, and general civil litigation. Spencer was born and raised in Johnston, Iowa. In 2015, she graduated Summa Cum Laude from Drake University, where she also played on the women’s soccer team. During her time at the Universit...
Josh is an Iowa native and grew up on a farm outside Sac City, Iowa. He attended Drake University, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science, with honors. In 2014, Josh received a Juris Doctorate with honors from Drake University Law School. Josh was admitted to the Iowa State Bar and United States District Court, Southern and Northern Federal Districts of Iowa, in 2014. Josh serves on both the Board of Governors and Defense Update Board of Editors for the Iowa Defense ...
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