Fireman’s Fund Insurance COVID-19 Denials Lawsuit Investigation
Did Fireman's Fund deny your business's claim for coronavirus losses?
In their time of need, many small business owners aren’t getting help from the insurance companies they bought policies from. Fireman’s Fund has allegedly denied or discouraged claims for losses from coronavirus.
But the law says they don’t get the final word. A denied claim isn’t the end of the line. Our law firm can still help.
I'm not sure if I'm insured with Fireman's Fund; do they go by other names?
Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company (FFIC) is now a subsidiary of Allianz Global Corporate and Specialty (AGCS). Since being acquired by Allianz, Fireman’s Fund continues to offer commercial property insurance in California.
Other Fireman's Fund Lawsuits
On April 29, 2020, Fireman’s Fund parent company Allianz was sued in Canada by a Toronto area restaurant owner after it denied his business interruption claims.
On May 5, 2020, Fireman’s Fund parent company Allianz faced a group action in the U.K. by restaurants and leisure groups over denied coronavirus-related claims.
Fireman's Fund and COVID-19 coverage
In March of 2020, Fireman’s Fund parent company Allianz Global Corporate and Specialty issued a letter on its website to its clients and business partners. At first, the letter vaguely says its insurance products “may or may not provide coverage for a range of exposures potentially arising out of infectious disease outbreaks,” but it goes on to declare that “infectious disease is usually not a covered peril.”
Below that letter, in a separate advisory notice to policyholders, Allianz insists:
“Events that are not listed on, or not described in, the policy are typically not covered.”
However, this gets insurance law completely backwards. The burden is on insurers to state exclusions clearly and upfront.
Also, even if a policy contains exclusions for virus or civil authority closures, the policyholder may still be covered for losses from COVID-19. According to a principle in insurance law called the reasonable expectations doctrine, it’s not just the text of the contract that matters, but also the reasonable expectations of the policy holder. So if there is some ambiguity in the policy, some courts use this principle to rule in favor of more coverage rather than less.
Insurance companies may want you to think the issue is cut and dried, but the truth is, in our legal system, the insurance company does not get the final say; judges get to decide what is covered under an insurance policy. If you want to do all you can to get coverage, it’s worth having an attorney take a closer look.
Insurance Coverage Denied Due to COVID-19?
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Over the past 35 years, our insurance team has won over $50 million in coverage for our business and individual clients. Lesser Law Group founder Don Lesser’s trial victories include multi-million dollar commercial leasing dispute in San Francisco in which Mr. Lesser and co-counsel, representing a prominent San Francisco restaurant, prevailed on all claims, obtained an alternative award of terminating sanctions against the opponent, and won a $1.8 million attorney’s fees award upheld on appeal.
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As Managing Partner of The Lesser Law Group, Don has represented hundreds of policyholders, agents and brokers and insurers for over 35 years concerning a wide range of insurance products and coverage issues, including claims disputes. He has obtained over $50 million in insurance coverage for his clients and brings an uncommon depth and breadth of experience in insurance law.
Andrew is a Partner at Cohen Milstein and the Co-Chair of the firm’s award-winning Consumer Protection practice group. Mr. Friedman is a nationally recognized leader in the area of complex, multi-state lawsuits against major insurers, credit card companies, and other manufacturers and service providers.
Geoffrey leads Cohen Milstein’s Business Interruption Insurance team. As a Partner and a member of the Consumer Protection practice group, he specializes in complex litigation involving false advertising, fraud, and other forms of unfair business practices at the hands of insurance companies, banks, health care companies, and others.
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Eric A. Kafka
Eric is a member of Cohen Milstein’s Consumer Protection practice. He also serves on Public Justice’s Class Action Preservation Committee.
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Karina is a member of Cohen Milstein’s Consumer Protection practice and focuses on litigating class actions on behalf of consumers who have been harmed by large corporations.
About Our Award-Winning Legal Team
We have assembled a coalition of two prominent law firms – Gibbs Law Group and Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll – with expertise in successfully litigating insurance fraud claims and other complex litigation. Spanning from the east to west coast, our firms have earned numerous awards for our innovative strategies and relentless efforts to advance and protect plaintiffs’ rights in complex cases, class actions and individual litigation.
Our clients benefit from our size and resources. Our attorneys have litigated against some of the largest corporations in the world, and we have recovered billions of dollars on our clients’ behalf. Together, our team is committed to going above and beyond for our clients as we strive to protect their rights.
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Gibbs Law Group is a California-based law firm committed to protecting the rights of clients nationwide who have been harmed by corporate misconduct. We represent small businesses, individuals, whistleblowers, and employees across the U.S. against the world’s largest corporations. Our award-winning lawyers have achieved landmark recoveries and over a billion dollars for our clients in high-stakes complex lawsuits and individual cases involving consumer protection, data breach, digital privacy, and federal and California employment lawsuits. Our attorneys have received numerous honors for their work, including:
Daily Journal, “Top Boutique Law Firms in California” (2019)
Law360, “Titans of the Plaintiffs Bar- Eric Gibbs” (2019)
Law360, “Class Action Practice Group of the Year” (2020)
Daily Journal, Two “California Lawyer Attorney of the Year (CLAY) Awards” (2019)
Daily Journal, “Top Plaintiff Lawyers in California- Eric Gibbs” (2019, 2016)
Best Lawyers in America (2012-2019)
Cohen Milstein’s award-winning Consumer Protection practice is at the forefront of representing individuals, retailers, restaurants, and other small businesses in insurance fraud and coverage litigation, having litigated individual and class action lawsuits against many of the leading health, life, and property and casualty insurance companies before state and federal courts across the United States.
We have received numerous accolades for our work in consumer law:
Law360, “Consumer Protection Group of the Year: Cohen Milstein” (2019)
Law360, “Practice Group of the Year – Consumer Protection” (2018)
The National Law Journal, “Winner – Elite Trial Lawyers – Consumer” (2018)
Law360, “Practice Group of the Year – Class Action” (2017)
Lesser Law Group
The Lesser Law Group is committed to helping our clients recover the policy benefits for which they’ve paid premiums, often for many years. Since 1999, we’ve obtained over $50 million in coverage for our business and individual insurance clients. Our successes included recoveries under general liability, directors and officers, errors and omissions, homeowners, and other types of insurance policies involving claims for construction defects, corporate shareholder disputes and securities class actions, legal and medical malpractice, property losses and business interruption claims. We have an uncommon practical understanding of the insurance industry based on having trained its personnel, written insurance policies, drafted procedures for claims handling, underwriting, marketing and sales, and helped assure compliance with insurance laws and regulations.
Our founder Don Lesser is recognized by his peers for his outstanding knowledge of insurance law and has received the following awards:
Martindale-Hubble, “Preeminent” – the highest rating (2006-2020)