Bienvenu Bonnecaze's Insurance Coverage practice encompasses both transactional and litigation matters involving varied business interests and insurance coverages.
Proper risk management ensures your business’ survival in the event of unanticipated liability. But, “risk management” requires much more than simply placing insurance coverage through an outside agent.
True risk transfer requires an understanding of your business in order to comprehensively identify potential risks and responsive coverages. This entails, among other things, an assessment of your business, your market, your clients, your vendors, and your internal processes. It also requires an evaluation of the proposed coverage(s) and policy wording to determine whether the coverage(s) offered will be applied as anticipated in the event an insurance coverage dispute arises between you and your carrier(s).
The consequences of improperly assessing these various components can have a considerable impact on your business’ future. Yet, all too often these considerations are relegated to internal representatives with little or no risk management experience or outside agents with little or no knowledge of your business.
Bienvenu Bonnecaze understands the business reasons that drive the decision to rely on internal personnel and/or outside agents. And, ultimately, our goal is to help you ensure proper risk transfer. The firm has extensive experience assessing the risks of corporate policyholders and aiding them in structuring a tailored risk management program. Bienvenu Bonnecaze draws on this experience to identify risks and corresponding coverages and prepare new or modify existing policies and procedures to ameliorate or eliminate risks.
Insurance Coverage Interpretation & Litigation
Insurance coverage can be complex and confusing – particularly following a crisis. And whether your claim is covered under a particular insurance policy’s wording can vary greatly based on the state law under which the policy is interpreted and, to a certain extent, the jurisdiction in which litigation is filed.
Bienvenu Bonnecaze represents individual and corporate policyholders who have disputes with their insurance companies over the proper interpretation and scope of coverage. The firm's clients turn to the firm for guidance on how a particular policy wording may be applied in a specific industry or context, or in a given jurisdiction – both before and after a claim is filed. This includes advice on coverage placement, historical policy reviews, and coverage opinions from a transactional standpoint. It also includes aiding clients in the claim process and, if necessary, representing their interests in insurance coverage litigation to ensure their business receives the relief it is due under purchased policies.
Our attorneys have successfully represented our clients’ interests at mediation and arbitration as well as in the state and federal courts of Louisiana and Texas. Bienvenu Bonnecaze has experience interpreting commercial general liability (“CGL”) and umbrella liability policies, Business Owner Property (“BOP”) policies, oil and gas package policies including well control and standalone pollution liability coverages, cyber insurance coverages, Business Income, Interruption, and Extra-expense coverages, Architect and Engineers (“A&E”) liability policies, and a variety of other professional coverages including Directors and Officers (“D&O”) liability policies.
- Representing a construction contractor against an insurer for failing to defend the insured for construction defects that were covered under the insurance policy. The prosecution of the suit involved aggressive depositions of claims adjusters and representatives of the insurer with the duty to defend is established following contentious summary judgment practice. The suit ultimately settled for defense costs and attorney’s fees for bad faith.
- Representing national insurers in numerous legacy claims, construction claims, and Chinese Drywall litigation.
- Successfully obtained in excess of 50M in coverage for energy policyholder following multiple coverage dispute cases arising from multi-million-dollar control of well and pollution liability claims. These cases involved the interpretation of specialized control of well insurance policy provisions as well as the interpretation of the "Property Damage" exclusion and the interplay of the bought-back "Blended Pollution Endorsement" within certain energy market umbrella and excess follow-form liability policies.
- Successfully obtained in excess of 1M in coverage for retail policyholder that suffered a significant payment card data breach following a malware cyberattack.
- Successfully obtained defense and indemnity coverage for subcontractor policyholder following coverage dispute associated with multi-million-dollar construction defect claims against policyholder. This matter involved the evaluation of the "property damage," "impaired property," "business risk," and "known loss" exclusions as defined in various ISO form CGL and professional liability policies.
- Successfully obtained defense and indemnity coverage for A&E policyholder for personal injury claims against policyholder due to defective workmanship. The case involved the interpretation of overlapping business liability and professional liability policies and applying the "professional services" exclusion to non-professional services rendered by architect and/or engineer policyholders.
- Successfully obtained defense and indemnity coverage for energy policyholder for two multi-million-dollar personal injury lawsuits filed against policyholder following employee kidnappings. These cases required an in-depth analysis of the coverages afforded under the "Employee Injury Benefit" and "Maritime Coverage" endorsements and the application of the "terrorism" exclusion under various ISO form CGL and umbrella liability policies.