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Practices + Industries

Insurance

Overview

From developments in health insurance at the federal level to state court cases on liability insurance, issues confronting the insurance industry cross the spectrum. That is because insurance covers almost every aspect of the person, home, company and environment.  Insurance companies must at once retain strategic macro and micro perspectives on their business and remain focused on legal, regulatory and economic developments. For instance, increasing costs in insurance are driving business owners to alternative options like captive, foreign and self-insurance. Carriers are continuously performing a balancing act between economic risk and business opportunity. Policyholders do the same. Both insurers and insureds can benefit immensely from the strategic advice of experienced legal counsel.

 

Turner Padget has represented members of the insurance industry since the founding of the firm in 1929.  Having both policyholders and carriers as clients, we are well versed in the aspects of insurance law from all angles. Our extensive experience allows us to handle all lines of insurance. We provide coverage and claim handling advice, conduct examinations under oath, prosecute and defend declaratory judgment actions, defend bad faith suits and represent carriers in administrative and regulatory matters. A.M. Best Company has listed Turner Padget as a recommended law firm for insurance matters since 1930.  Our insurance attorneys are capable of handling matters in all state and federal venues in South Carolina, and beyond, at both the trial and appellate levels.

 

Experience

  • Class actions
  • Coverage and claim handling
  • Declaratory judgment actions
  • Bad faith suits
  • Administrative
    • Rate and form filings
    • Administrative sanctions
    • Unfair insurance trade practice claims
    • Insurer expansion applications
    • Agent and company licensing
    • Market conduct examinations
    • Audit examinations
  • Regulatory matters
  • Personal injury defense

Representative Engagements

Administrative, Regulatory and Governmental Affairs

  • South Carolina legislative counsel for the American Insurance Association responsible for representing insurer interests in legislation.
  • General Counsel for the South Carolina Commercial Automobile Insurance Plan, an industry volunteered residual market for commercial automobile insurance. Representation includes drafting of original plan documents and rules, application forms and advising Governing Board.

 

Insurance Litigation

  • Successfully defended automobile insurer by obtaining summary judgment in the U.S. District Court and prevailing on appeal to the 4th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in case where plaintiffs attempted to pursue a class action against the carrier for its interpretation of the auto policy in offsetting Underinsured Motorist (UIM) payments by amounts previously paid under Medical Payments coverage. Rowzie v Allstate Ins. Co., 556 F.3d  165 (4th Cir. 2009).
  • Won dismissal of a class action lawsuit claiming excessive rate against an insurer and its state reinsurer, based upon the first judicial recognition of the filed rate doctrine as applicable to insurance in South Carolina. Edge v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 366 S.C. 511, 623 S.E.2d 387 (2005).
  • Appeared as Amicus Curiae for the American Insurance Association and Property and Casualty Insurers Association of America on rehearing of appeal and won reversal of an adverse coverage determination that project damages due to contractor’s faulty workmanship constituted an “occurrence” under a CGL policy. L-J, Inc. v. Bituminous Fire & Marine Ins. Co., 366 S.C. 117, 621 S.E.2d 33 (2004).
  • Won reversal of bad faith and punitive damage jury verdict against insurer based on insurer’s alleged negligent nonrenewal of homeowner’s policy due to past claims and secured entry of judgment in favor of insurer. Hinkle v. National Cas. Co., 354 S.C. 92, 579 S.E.2d 616 (2003).
  • Successfully represented homeowner insurer in coverage determination that sexual molestation by insured is an “intentional act” and does not come within the definition of “occurrence,” persuading the South Carolina Court to adopt the “inferred intent” doctrine for acts of sexual predators. Manufacturers and Merchants Mut. Ins. Co. v. Harvey, 330 S.C. 152, 498 S.E.2d 222 (Ct. App. 1998).