Property Coverage


More so than ever before in history, the risks that impact property coverage are broad and increasingly complex. News headlines regularly report on companies and individuals impacted by everything from catastrophic weather events to fire, explosion, and cyber loss. Insurers and reinsurers need counsel that stay abreast of this constantly shifting landscape and can provide timely, skilled guidance.

Crowell & Moring assists clients with their most challenging property coverage matters. We ensure that all aspects of a matter are addressed, creating cross-disciplinary teams when needed. We effectively handle clients’ largest exposures by complementing our deep insurance experience with the knowledge of colleagues from different substantive legal areas. We have been engaged to handle disputes arising in a wide range of settings, including weather-related losses, cyber-attack, building collapse, supply-chain disruption, and other complex business interruption claims.  We build teams based on our insurance and reinsurance attorneys’ experience in large trial court disputes, appellate forums, and reinsurance matters.

Representative Matters

Large/Industrial Property Loss Experience (Selected Examples)

  • Counseled insurer on coverage and claim handling rights relating to building collapse claim; resulting in a coverage denial being upheld in trial and appellate court litigation.
  • Representing excess insurers on business interruption and third‐party loss claims from a large warehouse fire in San Francisco which caused extensive property damage and pollution in San Francisco Bay.
  • Representing, through a cross-practice team, insurer in connection with a major property claim for losses resulting from the NotPetya cyberattack. The company sued its entire property coverage tower for the period when the cyberattack occurred. 
  • Represented American Insurance Association, National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, and Property Casualty Insurers Association of America as amici curiae in precedential litigation upholding flood exclusions where plaintiffs challenged their application to negligent design, construction and/or maintenance of man‐made levees whose breach resulted in the inundation of water into the City of New Orleans in Re: Katrina Canal Breaches Litigation (5th Cir. 2007).
  • Representing an excess insurer in a coverage dispute relating to significant property damage losses arising out of an ash spill at a North American power plant.
  • Advising insurers on significant coverage questions posed by a subsidence claim in a large warehouse complex in Northern England.
  • Advising reinsurers in assessing legal issues and exposures associated with disputes emanating from certain weather-related losses in North America, mostly associated with Hurricanes Katrina, Ike, and Sandy.
  • Representing reinsurer in litigating the extent of first-party property damage coverage for a set of condos/apartments that had experienced water damage.
  • Handling a reinsurance dispute over the allocation of property losses associated with multiple apartment complexes that had lead paint in Baltimore, MD.