Insurance law specialists act on behalf of insurers, who can be either claimants or defendants, to resolve complex claim issues. They also assist with aspects of product development, including policy wording and regulatory compliance. When you’re searching for lawyers specialising in insurance claims, it pays to ensure the firm you’re considering has relevant experience and an excellent performance history.
Parker & Associates has been acting for New Zealand and international insurers since our firm was established in 2001. We have a number of insurance law specialists within our team and a track record of assisting leading New Zealand insurers with all aspects of insurance litigation and claims handling. Our experience with claims involving fires, floods and earthquakes is extensive.
When acting for claimants, our insurance law experts are skilled at assessing the merits of a case and the litigation risk involved, which assists our insurance clients with decision making. When careful analysis indicates a case should go ahead, we collaborate with our clients to identify potential solutions and develop a strategy that will lead to the most favourable outcome.
From a defence point of view, our experience with claimants allows us to offer high quality advice that sets the scene for a positive outcome. A lot of other law firms that work in the insurance space work strictly with plaintiffs or strictly with defendants. We work with both, so have a better understanding of how to get things settled.
By delivering cost-effective and practical advice, we can help insurers resolve issues promptly and in a way that serves their business goals. Our contractual analysis and negotiation skills often bring matters to a successful conclusion. When an out-of-court settlement can’t be achieved, our team is ready to follow through with alternative actions. To be truly effective, insurance law firms need experience with every type of resolution process.
The insurance law team at Parker & Associates is well-equipped to help insurers with product design, policy coverage, compliance issues, policy drafting and customer-facing documentation wording.
Within the insurance law arena, we work with general and life insurers, underwriters, reinsurers, mutual insurance companies, brokers and intermediaries, and industry associations.
Most of our insurance cases are resolved before hearings on terms that are generally confidential. Over the years, we have handled many successful subrogated recovery actions and defences for our insurance clients. Here’s one case we can talk about:
Brandlines Ltd & Contamo Palmerston North v Central Forklift Group Ltd & Exide Technologies Ltd
In 2007, a large distribution warehouse burnt to the ground. About one year later our client, Central Forklift Group Ltd, received a demand holding them liable for causing the fire. It was alleged the fire had been caused by a connection between a charger and a forklift supplied by Central Forklift. Central Forklift had sold, leased and serviced various items of forklift and charger machinery at the warehouse.
Our client denied any responsibility. The connection in question had operated without any issues for more than three years before the fire. We were appointed by Central Forklift's insurers to handle the defence of this $10 million claim. This was a highly technical claim involving large amounts of expert evidence by cause and origin specialists, technical engineers, metallurgists, alarm experts and various others.
The hearing in the High Court occupied an initial six weeks in 2012, plus two weeks in 2013. The case settled on terms that are confidential. However, we can disclose that settlement was reached with the second plaintiff, the property owner, on the basis that liability is denied and the second plaintiff did not proceed further against the defendant accordingly. We can also disclose that a settlement was reached with the first plaintiff, the tenant, and that proceedings against Central Forklift were discontinued upon payment of costs of Central Forklift and denial of liability.
"Great people to deal with who gave us up-to-date and accurate information the whole way through. We had never gone through a legal case like this before, but they made the process very clear and honest for us with up-to-date feedback on where we stood, and with a great result. Advice all the way through was on the money." Des Walsh, Managing Director of Central Forklift Group
"I have found that working with the senior legal staff at Parker & Associates has resulted in a productive investigation and effective case preparation. Parker & Associates staff have been willing to listen to me and to understand technical issues that are sometimes very complex. They are able to distil the essential legal arguments that follow on from the situations they find their client in. As a technical expert, I have been particularly impressed by Dan's strategies, and those of his staff, as they are in line with my own professional ethics, which is to assist clients understand the physical evidence and the risk, when determining cause." Ross Oliver, Senior Electrical Engineer at SKM, who assisted as an expert for Central Forklift Group.