Insurance Coverage in North Carolina
Many people in North Carolina sustain damage to their homes or cars, or other losses, and submit claims to their insurance companies. Many of these are resolved quickly and amicably between the person with the loss (the “insured’) and the insurance company (“insurer”). Unfortunately, however, some insurance cases do not resolve quickly and amicably.
John Kirby has represented individuals in claims against insurance companies, and has represented insurance companies in claims asserted by insureds. He has taught continuing education classes to lawyers and to insurance professionals regarding several areas of insurance coverage, including “bad faith” and automobile coverage.
People in North Carolina have different types of insurance, including automobile insurance, homeowners insurance, life insurance, disability insurance, renter’s insurance, health insurance, commercial general liability (CGL) insurance etc. Some of these policies provide many types of coverage, such as business interruption coverage, and coverage for “personal injuries,” including defamation and other torts. These policies also have numerous “exclusions” from coverage. The scope of coverage afforded is typically determined by the terms of the policy, but other doctrines can be used to obtain coverage.
An insurance company in North Carolina is obligated to handle the insurance claim in “good faith,” and to comply with specific claims handing practices. An insurer which breaches these duties can be liable for punitive or treble damages. John Kirby has defended insurance companies in such suits. He has also sued insurance companies for such damages, and has obtained a ruling of treble damages against an insurance company for violating insurance laws in North Carolina.
The regulation of the insurance industry in North Carolina is handled by the North Carolina Department of Insurance . A dispute between the insured and insurer often must be litigated in Court, and decided by a judge or jury. An Article on this website regarding insurance coverage provides an overview of many issues often encountered in the litigation of insurance disputes.