Securing Asbestos Insurance Coverage

5 Ways Hoke LLC Can Help You Secure Asbestos Insurance Coverage

Analyze If You Have a Valid Claim:

We will evaluate the asbestos claims against you to determine if your claims are covered by your historical “occurrence” based insurance policies. Most all asbestos claims are covered by old commercial and comprehensive general liability (“CGL”) policies (primary and excess) from 1950 through 1986 when the asbestos exclusion first became prevalent. Some post-86 policies also may provide asbestos coverage as well. As long as your company was buying insurance before 1986 you probably have legacy liability asbestos coverage that you can still access for a full defense and indemnity of your claims.

Locate Your Old Policies:

Most clients did not retain all of their old insurance policies. We perform insurance archaeology to locate and/or reconstruct your historical insurance profile. We know where to look both within your company and from third-party sources that may have records of your old coverages. These old policies are assets that can still be accessed even if they are 30 or more years old because they were written on an “occurrence” basis (i.e., when the “bodily injury” takes place not when the claim is made as opposed to “claims-made” coverage).

Construct an Asbestos Coverage Profile and a Strategy to Obtain a Defense and Indemnity:

Once we have located your old insurance we put it together in a coverage chart and develop the optimal strategy to best leverage your insurance coverage to obtain as much defense and indemnity as is available. This would include analysis of applicable asbestos insurance coverage law to determine which insurance carriers to tender to first; which carriers you may want to avoid; and how to preserve the available coverage for as long as possible. We also will provide notice to all potentially implicated carriers whether or not we are targeting them in order to mitigate any future claims of late notice.

We Advocate or Litigate With Carriers That Fail to Meet Their Obligations:

We tender to those carriers and policy years we identify as most desirable for your company’s long-term needs and respond to the insurers’ reservation of rights and defenses or denials. We have success reversing initial denials of claims, and will work with insurers to get them to accept the defense and indemnity without resorting to litigation. If we are unsuccessful with one or more of the targeted insurers, as a last resort we can initiate litigation against them to bring them to the table. In our experience, litigation is sometimes necessary, but most carriers, especially primary carriers, ultimately will pay at least some defense and indemnity without having to go all the way to a coverage trial.

We Seek Recovery From Insurance Insolvencies:

Many General Liability carriers in the U.S., the U.K. and elsewhere have become insolvent. These carriers are not available to defend and indemnify you for your asbestos claims on a pay-as-you-go basis. However, you can submit your entire historical legacy liability book (asbestos and environmental) to the Liquidators of these insolvencies and they will issue you a check for these past liabilities. The payouts are usually in the range of 15 to 90 cents on the dollar of what you would have received had they not gone bankrupt. We have recovered as much as $27,000,000 in cash for a single client from just one such insolvency and did not have to go through any court proceedings to receive it. These are the equivalent of state Unclaimed Property funds, and if you are an asbestos defendant you should be actively pursuing these “free” funds.

Leave a Reply