Insurance litigation—USA—Q&A guide
Insurance litigation—USA—Q&A guide

The following Dispute Resolution practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Insurance litigation—USA—Q&A guide
  • 1. In what fora are insurance disputes litigated?
  • 2. When do insurance-related causes of action accrue?
  • 3. What preliminary procedural and strategic considerations should be evaluated in insurance litigation?
  • 4. What remedies or damages may apply?
  • 5. Under what circumstances can extracontractual or punitive damages be awarded?
  • 6. What rules govern interpretation of insurance policies?
  • 7. When is an insurance policy provision ambiguous and how are such ambiguities resolved?
  • 8. What are the mechanics of providing notice?
  • 9. What are a policyholder’s notice obligations for a claims-made policy?
  • More...

This Practice Note contains a jurisdiction-specific Q&A guide to insurance litigation in USA published as part of the Lexology Getting the Deal Through series by Law Business Research (published: February 2021).

Authors: Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP—Mary Beth Forshaw; Bryce L. Friedman; Karen Cestari

1. In what fora are insurance disputes litigated?

Most insurance disputes are litigated in state or federal trial courts. An insurance action may be subject to original federal court jurisdiction by virtue of the federal diversity statute, 28 USC section 1332(a). In this context, an insurance company, like any other corporation, is deemed to be a citizen of both the state in which it is incorporated and the state in which it has its principal place of business.

If an insurance action is originally filed in state court, it may be removed to federal court on the basis of diversity. Absent diversity of parties or some other basis for federal court jurisdiction, insurance disputes are litigated in state trial courts. The venue is typically determined by the place of injury or residence of the parties, or may be dictated by a forum selection clause in the governing insurance contract.

Some insurance contracts contain arbitration clauses, which are usually strictly enforced. If an insurance contract requires arbitration, virtually every dispute related to or arising out of the contract typically will be resolved by an arbitration panel

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