What is Insurance Defense Law? Find an Insurance Defense Lawyer.

Insurance Defense Law

What is Insurance Defense Law?

Insurance law is one of the fastest expanding law specializations in the United States. Part of this is due to the Affordable Health Care Act. Substantial changes are still likely to go into effect over the next few years. However, insurance defense law basics will likely remain the same. It's expected to be further subdivided as a specialization in the near future, and a number of lawyers already specialize in particular areas of insurance defense law such as the home, health, or wrongful death claims.

Insurance defense law focuses primarily on civil law disputes between policyholders and the insurance company. It encompasses a number of areas, depending on the state and the situation. It can include issues of labor law, tort law, professional reliance, and malpractice, but the one consistent factor is that it is between the insurance company and a policyholder. A third party may sometimes become involved.

Governing Law

The majority of insurance defense law is codified in either federal or state codes. In conflicting legal matters, federal law controls. Some case law helps to explain the different rules and laws, but most of the time, it is a codified law. Custom and typical practices play very small roles here as compared to other specializations in law. Changes and alterations in the law typically must follow the legislative process unless they are developed through administrative bodies. Administrative law does intersect with the governing law in certain sub specializations of insurance defense law such as property insurance and home insurance.

Reasons for Hiring an Attorney

Most of the time, insurance companies already have their own attorneys on retainer to represent them in a suit. The most common client among attorneys who specialize in insurance defense are individuals who need assistance getting the insurance company to indemnify them or make the payments. While you can represent yourself in an insurance claim, it's best to hire an attorney who specializes in insurance defense law because of the complexities. It becomes even more important when the claim itself is not straightforward. Most insurance claim procedures require that litigants go through all of the insurance channels before preparing for formal litigation. This process alone can take months or years without additional assistance from a licensed attorney.

What to Look for in an Insurance Defense Attorney

Insurance defense law has developed significantly throughout the past few years. It's now a recognized specialty in a number of states. Hiring an attorney who specializes in insurance defense law increases the likelihood of your success. If your state's bar association offers additional certifications, then choose an attorney who has completed the additional training. Alternative dispute resolution often factors heavily in insurance defense law. The majority of all insurance law cases settle outside of court through alternative dispute resolution methods. Choosing an attorney who also has experience in this area can help improve your success. Insurance defense lawyers can sometimes be hired at the expense of the insurance company if such terms are included in your agreement explicitly. This clause does not mean that you will not have to pay the attorney initially. It just means that the insurance company will eventually reimburse you or should.

Because of the complexity of insurance defense law, look for an attorney who is organized. Good organization techniques should also include timely notifications. You need to make sure that the attorney you hire will keep you informed of all the developments. Litigation skill should not be your focus. You should look for an attorney who has experience in indemnification claims. Even if a claim does not initially involve indemnification, the majority of all insurance defense cases eventually involve the issue.