Gulf Oil Spill and Your Insurance - Are You Ready?

May 12, 2010

May 12, 2010, Complimentary Teleconference

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There is no doubt that companies along the Gulf Coast and far beyond will be adversely affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil leak. As a result, these same companies are sure to have substantial insurance claims. Now is the time such companies should be preparing in order to ensure they can receive maximum coverage from their insurance programs, whether it is first-party or third-party issues.

Speakers from McGuireWoods and Navigant Consulting recently addressed the likely insurance issues associated with the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico. The panel informed the audience of insurance policies in play to provide coverage and what exclusions will be at issue for policyholders. The various first and thirty-party coverage issues were analyzed.

Carter Redd, a McGuireWoods attorney on the firm’s Insurance Coverage Team, indicated that pollution exclusions will be front and center in any coverage issue. Bradley Murlick, managing director at Navigant, echoed the comment. Mr. Murlick also indicated that companies need to be looking at business interruption coverage within their insurance programs and implement a process to capture the data needed to support a claim.

Collin Hite, also on McGuireWoods' Insurance Coverage Team, stressed that policyholders cannot sit by and wait. "It is critical that policyholders immediately review their insurance policies, understand the scope of coverage and conditions to submit a claim, and start to take action." The entire panel agreed that following the "notice of claim" requirements and "proof of loss" deadlines can be short, so policyholders must know what to do and seek expert advice to understand their obligations.

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