Skip to Content

First-Party Coverage

There are many valuable interests at stake in first-party property claims. These kinds of cases involve unique complexities, and insurance policies with language that often require interpreting.

Clients quickly turn to Butler when a property loss has occurred. Our team of well-versed attorneys has spearheaded first-party property matters, including boiler and machinery, builder’s risk, time element and extra contractual claims for over 40 years. Starting with our office in Tampa, Florida, our first-party property practice has grown significantly over the decades. Butler lawyers are sought after in numerous complex, multi-million dollar first-party claims, both domestically and abroad, including several where the exposure has been in excess of hundreds of millions of dollars.

Coverage experience in a spectrum of industries

  • Mining
  • Aviation
  • Education
  • Healthcare
  • Manufacturing
  • Financial Institutions
  • Power Generation and Energy
  • Stadiums
  • Hospitality
  • Real Estate
  • Builder’s Risk
  • Equipment Breakdown
  • Manufacturing Facilities
  • Commercial Buildings
  • Structures & Warehouses
  • Arson & Fire
  • Public Entities
  • Construction Sites
  • Food and Beverage
  • Catastrophic Losses
  • Residential (including Condos)
  • Warehouse Distribution Facilities

We work with you every step of the way

We have significant experience in representing and working with claims involving multiple insurers on shared and multi-tiered programs, including those involved in the London market. At the helm of every matter, we advise and counsel our clients in all phases of the claim, partnering with them to obtain satisfactory resolution in the most efficient and cost-effective manner possible.

We offer:

  • Coverage support
  • Assist in managing the claim investigation
  • Work closely with experts and consultants
  • Conduct examinations under oath
  • Assist in obtaining a resolution of the claim prior to litigation through negotiation
  • Mediation or other alternative dispute resolution processes

Representation from industry leaders and skilled attorneys

Our extensive experience in litigating cases adds significant value when predicting probable outcomes to assist in valuing the case for settlement and trying the case if necessary.

Our property lawyers are admitted to the Bar in over 11 states and have litigated property cases in twice as many states, as well as in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Butler lawyers are leaders in the property insurance industry. We have numerous partners who were Chairs of the Property Insurance Law Committee of the Tort, Trial & Insurance Practice Section of the American Bar Association. Our property lawyers have authored numerous articles and publications on first-party property and speak frequently in industry seminars and events.

Podcasts | Batten Down The Hatches: Issues to Consider With Florida’s 2022 Storm Season Upon Us

Jun 28, 2022 | By T. Wiley Hodges, David Maldoff

This podcast with Butler attorneys David Maldoff and Wiley Hodges will touch on and discuss issues to consider when storm-related claims are reported. The podcast…

Blog Posts | Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jig – Are Pennsylvania Courts Misconstruing the Residency Requirement?

Jun 22, 2022 | By Adam Masef

Residency has long been the touchstone of insurability when it comes to homeowners insurance. Courts applying Pennsylvania law have held that residency is a condition…

Blog Posts | Seventh Circuit Affirms Judgment on the Pleadings for Insurer in Covid-19 Business Interruption Claim by Shopping Mall Food Court Restaurant

Jun 17, 2022 | By K. Clark Schirle, Jonathan Barger

Butler Weihmuller Katz Craig LLP attorneys Clark Schirle and Jon Barger obtained a victory for their client in the case of Melcorp, Inc. v. West…

News | Butler Proudly Sponsors FDLA

June 15, 2022

Butler is proud to be a sponsor for the FDLA 2022 Florida Liability Claims Conference from June 15-17, 2022 at Disney’s Boardwalk Inn. To learn…

Show More

Blog Posts | What You Need to Know About Recent Changes to Florida Property Insurance Law Affecting Admitted and Surplus Lines Insurers

May 31, 2022 | By William Collum

Having been called back to the capitol by Florida’s governor for a special session to address issues within the property insurance market, the Florida Legislature…

Blog Posts | Dial v. Calusa Palms Master Association, Inc. – Florida Supreme Court Confirms Only Amounts Actually Paid By Medicare Are Admissible As Evidence Of Past Medical Expenses

May 13, 2022 | By Barry Burkett, William Linero Jr.

On April 28, 2022, the Florida Supreme Court issued its decision in Dial v. Calusa Palms Master Association, Inc., which addressed the question:   DOES THE…

Events | Diversity Jurisdiction: Remove Your Case from State to Federal Court, and Keep It There

June 17, 2022 | By Hudson Jones, Christian Gonzalez-Rivera

Join Partner Hudson Jones and Associate Christian Gonzalez-Rivera as they present for the 2022 FDLA Florida Liability Claims Conference at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn on June…

Events | Litigating Tile Roof Claims

June 16, 2022 | By Jamie Combee Novaes, D. Grayson Kelly

Join Senior Associates Jamie Combee Novaes and D. Grayson Kelly along with co-presenter Paul R. Marsenison as they present for the FDLA 2022 Florida Liability…

News | Partners Clark Schirle and Jonathan Barger Admitted to Texas Bar

Mar 31, 2022 | By K. Clark Schirle, Jonathan Barger

Partners Clark Schirle and Jon Barger are newly admitted to the Texas Bar. They are assisting clients with first-party property claim coverage issues and litigation in Texas. Clark and Jon are…

Blog Posts | The Water Damage Endorsement Does Not Include “Tear Out” Cost in Cast Iron Pipe Claims

Mar 07, 2022 | By Brian Hohman

Florida is replete with houses that contain cast iron pipes. After several years, those pipes deteriorate to the point that water leaks out, causing a…

Blog Posts | Florida First DCA Reverses $28.6 Million Judgment and Emphasizes that Alleged Violations of the Florida “Dram Shop” Act are Negligence Actions

Feb 23, 2022 | By Barry Burkett

The effects of alcohol-impaired driving as it concerns life and limb are well-documented. Indeed, more often than not, the policy limits for the responsible party’s…

Spotlights | Attorney Spotlights | Michael Wolfer

Feb 23, 2022 | By Michael Wolfer

Butler is proud to highlight the diversity among our team of attorneys. Many come from different backgrounds and walks of life. These experiences both professionally…

Events | The Latest Developments With Business Interruption Claims

March 23, 2022 | By J. Pablo Cáceres

Join Partner Pablo Cáceres as he presents at the 2022 Insurance Coverage and Claims Institute on March 23, 2022. This session is designed to provide…

News | New Property Insurance Litigator’s Handbook (3rd Edition)

Feb 08, 2022 | By William (Bill) Lewis, Sarah Burke, Richard Gable Jr.

Butler congratulates its Partners on the release of the 3rd Edition of the ABA’s Property Insurance Litigator’s Handbook. This book has contributions from Partners SARAH…

Events | Climbing the Emotion/Logic Mountain: Overcoming Barriers Towards Claim Resolution

January 25, 2022 | By William Collum

Join Partner William Collum and co-panelists Craig Maihiot (Florida Family Insurance), Christopher Scarlett (Phoenix Claims Consulting) and Donna Stockham (Stockham Law Group, P.A) as they…

Blog Posts | Fifth Circuit Seeks Guidance From The Texas Supreme Court On When The Concurrent Cause Doctrine Applies

Oct 12, 2021 | By K. Clark Schirle

Hail damage is so typical in Texas that Chapter 542A of the Texas Insurance Code is known as the “Hail Bill.” Texas follows the concurrent…

Events | Marketing in the New Normal

September 24, 2021 | By Matthew Lavisky

Join Partner Matthew Lavisky and co-presenters Margaret Grisdela (Legal Expert Connections, Inc.) and Frank Ramos (Clarke Silverglate, PA) as they present for the 2021 Law…

Blog Posts | Insurer Doesn’t “Waive” Goodbye to Coverage Defenses by Making a Payment

Sep 03, 2021 | By Jamie Combee Novaes

Does an insurer “open coverage” or “acknowledge coverage” for a claim by making a payment? No, it doesn’t. The Third DCA confirmed: an insurer does…

Events | International Commercial Excess Liability Programs

October 27, 2021 | By Jonathan Barger

Join Partner Jonathan Barger as he presents for the 2021 PLRB Large Loss Conference on October 27-29, 2021 in Tampa, Florida. The presentation will cover…

News | Butler Proudly Sponsors the 2021 Florida Insurance Network Symposium

August 12, 2021

Butler is proud to be a sponsor for the FDLA 2021 Florida Insurance Network Symposium (FINS). This conference will provide high quality, timely presentations in…

Blog Posts, News | 8th Circuit Rules In Favor of Insurer in Covid-19 Business Interruption

July 6, 2021 | By Jonathan Barger

On July 2, 2021, in the case of Oral Surgeons, P.C. v. Cincinnati Ins. Co., No. 20-3211, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit…

Events | Civil Authority Coverage

July 6, 2021 | By K. Clark Schirle

Partner Clark Schirle presented “Civil Authority Coverage” for the PLRB Claims Conference Webinar Series on July 6, 2021. Mr. Schirle discussed civil authority coverage elements,…

Blog Posts | South Carolina Permits Depreciation of Labor When Calculating ACV

May 26, 2021 | By Jonathan Barger, T. Nicholas Goanos

  The issue of whether labor can be depreciated when a property policy does not define the term “actual cash value” (“ACV”) has been resolved…

Blog Posts | Recent Changes in Florida’s Property Insurance Law for Admitted and Surplus Lines Insurers: The Basics of What You Need to Know

May 04, 2021 | By William Collum

Hours before the close of Florida’s 2021 annual legislative session, the Florida Legislature passed SB 76, legislating wide changes to the handling and litigation of…


May 03, 2021 | By J. Blake Hunter

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage was first enacted in Florida in 1971.  PIP is also known as no-fault insurance, and it allows drivers and passengers…

Blog Posts | Critical Analysis in the Claims Handling Process – One or Multiple Occurrences?

Apr 30, 2021 | By J. Blake Hunter

An issue that often arises when an insurer is determining whether a policy provides coverage for bodily injury or property damage under a liability policy…

Events | Covid Claim – Where we Are and Where We are Going

Apr 12, 2021 | By John Garaffa

Partner John Garaffa presented on a panel at the American Bar Association (“ABA”) Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section’s Hot Topics in the World of…

Blog Posts | Butler Feature | LinkedIn Pages

Feb 09, 2021

We are pleased to announce the launch of our new LinkedIn showcase pages. Our showcase pages are an extension of Butler’s practice area pages and…

Events | Diversity Jurisdiction: Remove Your Case to Federal Court and Keep It There

April 8, 2021 | By Hudson Jones, D. Grayson Kelly

Partner Hudson Jones and Senior Associate Grayson Kelly presented “Diversity Jurisdiction: Remove Your Case to Federal Court and Keep It There” for the 2021 NAMIC…

Publications/ Whitepapers | John Garaffa | The Comprehensive Guide to Economic Damages 6th Edition

Feb 03, 2021 | By John Garaffa

The latest edition of The Comprehensive Guide to Economic Damages is now available! Co-written by Partner John Garaffa, this volume draws on the expertise of…

Blog Posts | Covid and Coverage in the UK: Language Matters

Jan 25, 2021 | By John Garaffa

In a recent opinion, the UK Supreme Court has found coverage for business interruption as a result of business closures incident to the Covid-19 pandemic. …

Events | Understanding & Adjusting Business Income Claims

February 4, 2021 | By William Collum

Partner William Collum presented “Understanding & Adjusting Business Income Claims” for the 2021 Windstorm Virtual Workshop. This presentation aimed to give the professional a solid…

Events, News, Webinars | The Building Code Increases The Loss By $1 Million? An Overview of Ordinance and Law Coverage (Webinar)

January 21, 2021

Partner Michael McLaughlin presented a webinar focusing on an overview of the ordinance and law coverage in an insurance policy, what circumstances trigger the application…

Blog Posts | What’s in a name?

Oct 30, 2020 | By Vincent Fernandez

What Plaintiffs call a “confidential settlement negotiation”. By any other name would be an “other paper” and establish the amount in controversy. The Middle District…

News | Congratulations to our Newest Senior Associate

Oct 16, 2020

Please join us in congratulating Nicolas Pazos for becoming our latest Senior Associate! Nicolas practices in our First-Party Property Coverage Department. Click his image to…

Events, Webinars | Federal Court Jurisdiction: Removal Complexities and Common Pitfalls to Avoid in the Process

October 7, 2020 | By Troy Seibert

Partner Troy Seibert and attorney Maxwell Stape presented a webinar titled “Federal Court Jurisdiction: Removal Complexities and Common Pitfalls to Avoid in the Process” on…

Publications/ Whitepapers | Alabama and Florida Insurance Law Questions Following Hurricane Sally (White Paper)

Oct 01, 2020 | By Michael Montgomery

Hurricane Sally made landfall on Alabama Gulf Coast near the city of Gulf Shores early in the morning on Wednesday, September 16, 2020. The storm crawled…

Blog Posts | Defining Occurrence – When Policy Definitions Do Not Apply To All Coverages

Sep 24, 2020 | By John Garaffa

On September 8, 2020 the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit issued its decision in Port Consolidated, Inc. v. International Insurance Company…

Publications/ Whitepapers | Knowing the Code: An Overview of Ordinance and Law Coverage

Sep 22, 2020

This article is originally a publication of the Claims and Litigation Management Alliance (CLM) Construction Claims magazine, Summer 2020. Legal opinions may vary when based on subtle…

Blog Posts | Heads I win, Tails You Lose: Southern Owners Insurance Company v. MAC Contractors

Sep 17, 2020 | By Julius “Rick” Parker III

On July 29, 2020, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Southern Owners Ins. Co. v. MAC Contractors, of Fla., LLC, —…

Events | From AOBs to Bad Faith – Past and Potential Legislation

October 6, 2020 | By Matthew Lavisky

Partner Matthew Lavisky and co-presenter Michael Beltran (Ansa Assuncao LLP) presented “From AOBs to Bad Faith: Past and Potential Legislation” for the Florida Insurance Network…

Events | INSURANCE POLICY CONDITIONS: Tools for Solid Claim Investigation

Aug 13, 2020 | By Timothy Engelbrecht

Partner Timothy Engelbrecht presented for the Southern Loss Association’s CE Seminar on August 13, 2020. This presentation discussed using insurance policy conditions (prompt notice, protecting…

Blog Posts | To Wait or to Mediate?

Jul 22, 2020

A “Q&A” on Virtual Mediations in First-Party Property Lawsuits Q: Why is mediation used so frequently in insurance lawsuits?  A: Mediation has always played a…

Blog Posts | Pretzel Logic: Cheetham V. Southern Oak And Its Ill-Begotten Progeny

Jun 29, 2020 | By Julius “Rick” Parker III

The standard ISO homeowners insurance policy contains an exclusion for damage caused by water which backs up through sewers or drains. While this appears to…

Blog Posts | Nevada Division Of Insurance Issues Notice To Property And Casualty Insurers Disallowing New Exclusions Related To Covid-19, Viruses, Or Pandemics

Jun 25, 2020 | By Jonathan Barger

ON JUNE 16, 2020, THE NEVADA DIVISION OF INSURANCE (“NVDOI”) ISSUED A NOTICE TO PROPERTY AND CASUALTY INSURERS regarding the disallowance of new exclusions related…

Videos | Butler’s Thursday Tips #8 | Importance Of A Mediator

Jun 18, 2020

Join attorney Shaheen Nouri as he gives three reasons why a mediator is important in a First-Party claim.

Blog Posts | North Carolina’s Latest Appraisal Ruling Precludes Appraisal If Any Damages Dispute Exists

May 21, 2020 | By T. Nicholas Goanos

In the last 60 days, COVID-19 has affected us all. Federal and state governments have issued quarantine orders. Schools have been closed. And many businesses…

Blog Posts | Pennsylvania Supreme Court Declines To Automatically Decide Questions Of Insurance Coverage For Covid-19

May 15, 2020 | By Richard Gable Jr.

The Joseph Tambellini Restaurant in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania recently filed an Emergency Application for Extraordinary Relief to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court pursuant to the Extraordinary jurisdiction…

Publications/ Whitepapers | Delay In Completion Coverage And The Coronavirus

May 05, 2020 | By K. Clark Schirle

This article was republished in the National Association of Surety Bond Producers website. States, counties and municipalities have issued “stay at home,” “shelter-in-place,” and other…

Blog Posts | Local Florida Governments have Issued Orders Suggesting Covid-19 caused Property Damage

Apr 15, 2020 | By Matthew Lavisky

DOES THIS MATTER FOR INSURANCE POLICY INTERPRETATION? Florida Governor Ron DeSantis issued an Executive Order declaring a state of emergency due to COVID-19.  Many Florida…

First-Party Coverage