Insurance Coverage

shutterstock_108815537Insurance companies are required to defend policyholders against lawsuits.  Typically, they must pay for the insured’s defense, litigation, and medical costs when a duty to defend arises.  Unfortunately, insurers often wrongfully deny coverage to increase their own profitability.  The Insurance Information Institute reports that insurance companies collected over $1 trillion in premiums in 2010 but paid out only a fraction of that amount in losses.  For instance, Property/Casualty insurers who collected $426 billion in annual premiums paid out just over $14 billion in property losses that same year.  This is despite the fact that there were six more catastrophes and a sharp increase in claims that year.  Needless to say, profitability remains at the forefront of insurers’ concerns, often resulting in bad-faith denials of coverage.

When this happens, our firm steps in to help the policyholders.  We have handled million-dollar matters for many Fortune 500 companies, and we know how insurance companies think and operate.  We can help you or your business maximize the insurance coverage to which you are entitled.  We can navigate through complex insurance laws and negotiate or litigate against your insurers to get you the compensation to which you are rightfully entitled.

Most importantly, Cross Prescott APC delivers “Big Firm” talent at a fraction of the cost.  We strive to provide our clients with efficiency, superb legal training, and top-notch legal work.

Our Insurance Coverage Expertise:


Natalie Prescott is recognized as one of Top Insurance Attorneys in San Diego.  Prior to founding Cross Prescott APC, she handled high-stakes insurance coverage matters at a top international law firm, Latham & Watkins LLP.  There, she represented policyholders in a range of insurance disputes with tens of millions of dollars at stake.  She was trained by some of the nation’s finest insurance coverage attorneys, including the firm’s global co-chair of the Insurance Practice Group.  She evaluated policies, analyzed complex coverage issues, engaged in insurance-related discovery, and drafted many dispositive motions and briefs.  Over the years, she learned how insurance companies operate and the steps necessary to remedy unfair insurance practices and to protect the rights of the policyholders.

Recent Accolades:

  • Top Insurance Attorney, San Diego Metro Magazine (2012)
  • Significant Insurance Coverage Decisions of 2011, Latham & Watkins Client Alert (2012) (co-author)
  • Significant Insurance Coverage Decisions of 2011, Latham & Watkins LLP’s Nationwide Webcast (2012), co-Presenter
  • Fluor Corporation vs. Hartford Insurance Company (Orange County Superior Court, Complex Division, 2011)*
    • “A case that could make waves in California,” Law360
    • “Insurance Cases to Watch in 2012,” Law360
    • Ms. Prescott was one of the key members of the pre-trial team in this $100-million-dollar coverage matter.  She assisted in preparing and filing the amended complaint, motions, and appellate writs.  She also worked extensively on numerous discovery issues, interviewed and prepared trial witnesses, and conducted trial-related research and investigations prior to trial.
  • Top Attorney in the Insurance Category, San Diego Daily Transcript (2010)

Examples of Cases We Handle:

  • Commercial General Liability (CGL)shutterstock_1932642
  • Directors and Officers Liability
  • Insurance Bad Faith
  • Declaratory Relief Actions
  • Errors & Omissions coverage
  • Cases involving completed operations disputes, assignments, reverse spinoffs
  • Environmental, investment, property, casualty, builders risk, professional liability, and other matters
  • Many other types of commercial and coverage-related disputes

Insurance Statistics:

  • Life and health-insurance industries are some of the most profitable  in the country, due to high premiums and frequent denials of coverage.
  • Leading causes of workplace deaths potentially triggering insurance coverage:  (1) Transportation and car accidents (1,898 fatalities last year); (2) Assaults and violence (780 deaths); (3) Contact with objects and equipment (708); (4) Falls (666 deaths); (5) Exposure to harmful substances or environments (401); (6) Fires and explosions (143).
  • Leading causes of fatal injuries potentially triggering insurance coverage:  (1) Car accidents (nearly 40,000 deaths a year); (2) Firearms (over 12,000 deaths a year); (3) Falls on stairs and steps (close to 2,000 deaths); (4) Pool drowning (700); (5) falls from ladders and scaffolding (nearly 500); (6) Dog bites (close to 30 deaths each year).
  • California is the leading state with most of the large fires resulting in significant property damage.  In 2011, catastrophic wildfires caused nearly $2 billion in economic losses, including $855 million in insured losses.
  • Car accidents are the leading cause of death among teenage drivers.  Each year, teenage drivers account for 10-20 percent of fatal accidents involving drunk drivers.
  • In 2011, injuries and incidents related to product recalls increased by 7 percent.
  • There were over 11.6 million of children’s product recalls in 2011.
  • There were nearly 2,000 victims injured in marine accidents in 2011, resulting in $1.833 billion in insured losses.
  • Insurers collected over $2 billion in product liability insurance net premiums last year.

Representative Trial Experience:   

  • B.B. v. W.K, (San Diego Superior Court, 2013).  In this factually complex trial, Ms. Prescott represented the plaintiff.  At trial, both sides presented testimony of 10 experts and numerous other witnesses.  Ms. Prescott second-chaired this trial with another prominent San Diego trial lawyer.  After a highly-contested 7-day trial and 1 day of deliberations, the jury returned a significant verdict in our client’s favor.
  • In re Jeffrey R., (San Diego Superior Court, 2012).  Ms. Prescott was the lead trial counsel in this 4-day jury trial.  She singlehandedly tried this case, which involved a complex and novel defense theory and 11 witnesses.  She presented a winning opening statement and closing argument, conducted voir dire, cross-examined 6 defense witnesses, including the defendant and his medical expert.  She further conducted direct examinations of 5 witnesses.  The jury sided with Ms. Prescott’s client, returning a guilty verdict after deliberating for only 30 minutes.*
  • In re David G., (San Diego Superior Court, 2012).  In this 3-day jury trial, together with her co-counsel, Ms. Prescott prosecuted a defendant for various violations involving illegal driving activity.  Ms. Prescott obtained a favorable ruling on a highly contested motion and delivered a rebuttal closing argument.  The jury returned a verdict after deliberating for just 1.5 hours, convicting the defendant on one count.*
  • In re David H., (San Diego Superior Court, 2012).  In this case, Ms. Prescott was the lead trial attorney seeking prosecution of an alleged drunk driver following a prior mistrial.  She prepared the case for trial and researched and drafted a comprehensive trial brief and numerous motions.  She also argued and won various motions in limine.  The case settled favorably before opening arguments.*
  • Fluor Corp. v. Hartford Ins. Co., (Orange County Superior Court, Complex Division, 2011).  Ms. Prescott was one of the key members of the pre-trial team in this multi-million-dollar coverage matter.  She assisted in preparing and filing the amended complaint, motions, and appellate writs.  She also worked extensively on numerous discovery issues, interviewed and prepared trial witnesses, and conducted trial-related research and investigations prior to trial.*
  • Miller vs. Chicago Title Insurance Co., (San Diego Superior Court, 2009).  This complex-litigation matter went to trial in 2009, as a result of alleged dishonest acts by one of the company’s employees.  Ms. Prescott assisted with deposing, defending, and preparing numerous witnesses and key documents for trial.  She also drafted various trial-related motions and extensive discovery.*
  • In re Conservatorship of Brenda P., (San Diego Superior Court, 2006).  Ms. Prescott co-chaired this 3-day jury trial, seeking conservatorship for a young woman who posed danger to herself and others.  The trial involved a challenging and emotionally-charged setting, including preparing and examining the defendant’s own mother and her treating psychiatrist.  Ms. Prescott examined numerous witnesses at trial, argued and won highly contested motions in limine, and delivered a winning closing argument to the jury.  The jury returned a verdict in her client’s favor after less than 2 hours.*

*Selected cases in which Ms. Prescott played a key role, and which were all litigated before founding Cross Prescott APC

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