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Insurance and Reinsurance

Insurance and Reinsurance Law requires thorough knowledge of the business of insurance, as well as mastery of constantly changing laws and regulations within the industry. Burnham Brown's Insurance and Reinsurance industry group offers comprehensive experience with proven success in insurance law and insurance litigation. Our clients rely upon us for an accurate analysis of coverage issues, and successful resolution of insurance coverage disputes. We aggressively represent our clients in insurance litigation, advise insurers on underwriting matters and policy language, and protect insurer's interests in underlying litigation.

Areas of Expertise

Advice and Counsel and Analysis of Coverage Issues

  • Standard form and manuscript property and casualty policies: general liability, professional liability, directors and officers liability, fidelity and surety, bond, excess, surplus lines and reinsurance, commercial property, business and commercial auto, common carrier, life, and personal lines
  • Evaluate policyholder liability and advocate our insurer client's position in settlement negotiations in underlying litigation
  • Assist the insurer and the insured in pursuit of additional insured rights under other carriers' policies
  • Assist the insurer and the insured in pursuit of express indemnity rights under contractual indemnity claims
  • Monitor underlying litigation on behalf of excess insurers
  • Fee audits and arbitration for apportionment of covered and
    non-covered components of damages and claims expenses

Insurance Coverage and Bad Faith Litigation

  • Defense of bad faith suits seeking contractual and extra-contractual damages
  • Represent insurers in complex, multi-party insurance litigation, including claims involving environmental contamination, product liability, mass tort, and construction defects
  • Prosecution of declaratory relief actions to establish that insurer has no duty to defend or to indemnify
  • Pursue contribution actions against co-insurers which have abdicated their responsibility to contribute to defense and/or indemnity
  • Pursue additional insured rights under other carriers' policies for contribution
  • Pursue on behalf of the carrier its insured's express indemnity rights under contractual indemnity provisions
  • Represent insurers through appellate process

Property Insurance

  • Represent national and regional property insurers on all issues of policy interpretation and in defense of bad faith suits involving manuscript and standard form ISO contracts, including multi-insurer, multi-layer insurance programs
  • Claim investigation strategies for large catastrophe losses: earthquake, flood, firestorm, theft, arson, business interruption, fraud, contamination, builder's risk, and fidelity
  • Examinations under oath, investigation of suspicious claims, and coordination with insurers' Special Investigation Units


  • Pursue subrogation claims against tortfeasors for maximum recovery on behalf of insurers
  • Pursue by way of subrogation the insured's express indemnity rights for contractual indemnity
  • Coordinate with Burnham Brown's other practice groups to counsel property and casualty insurers on recognizing, evaluating and prosecuting subrogation rights associated with insurance claims

Reinsurance and Insolvency

  • Reinsurance arbitration
  • Draft reinsurance treaties and certificates

Drafting of Insurance Policies and Endorsements

  • Draft policies and endorsements, and revise policy language to achieve the insurer's intended assumption of risk or implement change in underwriting guidelines

Insurance Regulation/Department of Insurance

  • Counsel insurers on California Insurance Regulations
  • Respond to Department of Insurance inquiries to insurers regarding regulatory compliance and consumer complaints
  • Represent insurers before State Insurance Commissioners

For more information regarding Burnham Brown or the services available to the Insurance and Reinsurance Industry, please contact Tom Downey at (510) 835-6716.