I have written, in various blog posts, highly detailed, rational and analytical explanations of why parties to an insurance coverage dispute should retain experienced coverage counsel to represent them; I have given long, detailed, argumentative explanations of the same point in a number of seminars. Often the analysis revolves around the fact that, if the other side has an expert in this area but you don’t, you are committing the legal equivalent of bringing a knife to a gunfight. No matter what anyone tries to tell you, you can’t make do with a generalist when you are engaged in a significant dispute over insurance coverage.
Thus, I chuckled when I came across this article here, by an insurance professional, in which he presented a humorous list of what he has learned in 19 years in the insurance industry. If you combine several items in his list, you end up with what may be the most perfect short answer to the question of “should I hire a coverage lawyer and if so, why” that I have ever seen. The answer, in short, is that:
There is nearly ALWAYS more than one possible answer to a coverage question. One is just more correct than the others based on the particular situation. . . . .Fifty states, hundreds of courts, thousands of differing opinions and interpretations. You can be right in some states and wrong in others. . . . It’s NEVER ok to guess at the answer to a coverage question.