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Defending large loss claims. Large loss claims often implicate criminal elements such as drunk driving, drugs, arson, excessive force by police, assault or allegations of misconduct clearly contrary to an employer’s policies. (Photo: Aisylu/Adobe Stock)

Large loss insurance claims implicate excess and umbrella insurance policy limits, usually starting at one million dollars and above. These claims typically involve multiple parties, complex legal issues, tens of thousands of discovery documents and a multi-year litigation trajectory. There are a variety of types of large loss claims: catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death, trucking accidents, fires, police excessive force claims, abuse scandals, nursing home claims, construction accidents, products liability, insurance fraud, property damage, natural disasters, sexual harassment, employment discrimination and the like.

Because of the high stakes, critical steps must be taken from the outset. The general principles discussed here can be applied to each unique case. What follows is a guide for insurance professionals, claims handlers, and in-house counsel on best practices for defending a large loss claim.

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