Insurance Coverage

We are leaders in the insurance-coverage space for a reason—not just because of our mastery of the subject matter, but because of our ability to consistently zero in on, and proactively address, our clients’ needs.

Our multidisciplinary insurance-coverage team represents some of the nation’s largest primary and excess insurers in complex-coverage matters. Clients have trusted HSE to evaluate potential liability and risk, analyze coverage issues to assist in resolving high-exposure claims, provide proactive and strategic recommendations, and aggressively defend their interests.

Our team is well known and respected, locally and nationally, for their in-depth knowledge of insurance-coverage issues. They not only follow insurance-coverage trends and regulations, but also help educate clients and colleagues on regulatory matters, negotiation and placement of insurance, and dispute resolution. Our attorneys have deep industry knowledge and are committed to delivering winning results for our clients in an efficient manner. We are always mindful of the impact insurance disputes can have on our clients' business and we consistently strive to preserve and protect their public image.

When litigation is necessary, we advocate for the fairest, least costly, and earliest resolution of the dispute. Our team has earned a stellar reputation in shaping cases for favorable disposition principally through summary-judgement motions, mediations, arbitrations, and other cost-effective means. We have successfully secured summary judgments in major coverage litigations and have played a leading role in some of the most complex, high-profile actions throughout the United States.

Our firm’s litigation practice consists of nearly 40 attorneys (partners, counsel and associates), between the firm’s Buffalo and Rochester offices, who counsel clients on a wide range of litigation-related matters including insurance coverage, general business/commercial disputes, employment claims, intellectual property infringement, securities and construction project disputes, to name only a few. This team enjoys an excellent reputation. Recipients of Chambers and Partners highest ranking, the HSE litigation group is described in the 2016 Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business as having a: formidable litigation offering, frequently involved in complex and high-stakes civil cases … backed by a team of experienced trial lawyers … significant trial and appellate practice experience at both the federal and state level.”

Our Experience:

  • Commercial General Liability
  • Excess and Umbrella Policies
  • Director and Officer Liability
  • Professional Liability
  • Property and Casualty
  • Bad Faith and Extracontractual Claims
  • Errors and Omissions
  • Employment Practices
  • Securities
  • Toxic Torts
  • Construction Defects
  • Technology Liability
  • Media and Entertainment
  • Wrap-up Liability Programs
  • Owners and Contractors
  • Rescission
  • Specialty Underwriting Products

Case Highlights:

  • Successfully represented a major insurer in one of the largest environmental-insurance-coverage litigations in the nation's history (U.S. District Court, New York).
  • Conducted an internal investigation, on behalf of a large national insurance broker, in response to a probe launched by then New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer into compensation practices and alleged bid-rigging within the brokerage industry.
  • Represented a large national insurance broker in the lengthy In re Insurance Brokerage Antitrust Litigation, a multi-district litigation, pending in U.S. District Court in New Jersey, in which class plaintiffs asserted violations of the Sherman Act and the RICO statute.
  • Won recission of an insurance policy and affirmance on appeal based on material misrepresentations in an insurance application, even though the application itself was unsigned (U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit).
  • Won an appeal on applicability of pollution exclusion in an insured's policy barring coverage for widespread environmental contamination of an Ohio municipality caused by a tank explosion (U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit).
  • Won summary judgment on behalf of a major insurer in coverage dispute arising from petroleum contamination of industrial property (U.S. District Court, New York).
  • Successfully represented D&O insurers in connection with numerous securities cases, including class and derivative actions involving numerous publicly-traded companies.
  • Won reversal of a judgment directing a primary insurer to defend and indemnify a policyholder for a construction accident on the basis of late notice, despite the insurer's knowledge of the claim from other sources.
  • Won subrogation action on behalf of a major insurer, including award of extra-contractual damages, in a complex maritime arbitration and successfully defended the respondent's appeal of arbitration award in federal court.

Key Contacts


This website presents only general information not intended as legal advice. Although we encourage calls, letters and emails from prospective clients, please keep in mind that merely contacting Harter Secrest & Emery LLP (HSE) does not establish an attorney-client relationship between us. Confidential information should not be sent to HSE until you have been notified in writing by HSE that a formal attorney-client relationship has been established. Information sent to us before then may not be treated as confidential by HSE or the court.

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