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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.

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 | By Nicolas Pazos

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

Oct 07, 2020 | By Troy Seibert, Maxwell Stape

Join Partner Troy Seibert and attorney Maxwell Stape as they present a webinar titled “Federal Court Jurisdiction: Removal Complexities and Common Pitfalls to Avoid in…

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…

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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 | By Michael McLaughlin

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

Oct 06, 2020 | By Matthew Lavisky

Join Partner Matthew Lavisky and co-presenter Michael Beltran (Ansa Assuncao LLP) as they present “From AOBs to Bad Faith: Past and Potential Legislation” for the…

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., Michael McLaughlin

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…

Blog Posts | Delay in Completion Coverage and the Coronavirus

Apr 13, 2020 | By K. Clark Schirle

States, counties and municipalities have issued “stay at home,” “shelter-in-place,” and other orders relating to COVID-19.  Many orders require the suspension of non-essential construction projects. …

Spotlights | Starr Brookins – Caring for the Community

Apr 04, 2020

Attorney Starr Brookins is a prominent figure in her community, helping mentor many at-risk children and guiding them towards a better future. Andrea Romero-Fisher sat…

Publications/ Whitepapers | Covid-19—When Civil Authorities Take Over, Are You Covered?

Apr 03, 2020 | By W. Douglas Berry, John Garaffa

This article is originally a publication of International Risk Management Institute on March 2020. Legal opinions may vary when based on subtle factual differences. All…

Publications/ Whitepapers | Coronavirus and Property Insurance Policies

Apr 02, 2020 | By Jonathan Barger, Richard Gable Jr., John Garaffa, K. Clark Schirle

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a respiratory disease that can result in serious illness or death. The virus has spread to every state in the…

Blog Posts | Civil Authority Coverage and the Coronavirus

Mar 18, 2020 | By K. Clark Schirle

WILL ORDERS ISSUED BY GOVERNMENTAL AUTHORITIES TO DEAL WITH THE CORONAVIRUS CRISIS TRIGGER CIVIL AUTHORITY COVERAGE? Governmental authorities across the United States have issued orders…

Publications/ Whitepapers | Civil Authority and Ingress/Egress Coverage

Feb 21, 2020 | By K. Clark Schirle

©2020. Published in GPSolo, January/February 2020, by the American Bar Association. Reproduced with permission. All rights reserved. This information or any portion thereof may not…

Blog Posts | Taking Interest in the Disinterested: Analyzing State Farm Florida Ins. Co. V. Crispin

Feb 11, 2020

Florida courts continue to refine the roles and limitations of appraisers in Florida property claims.  Florida’s Fifth District Court of Appeal recently held that a…

Events | Commercial Policies And Claims: Complexities And Nuances

Jan 27, 2020 | By William Collum

Presenter: William Collum Co-Presenters: Mike Giasi (Giasi Law, P.A.), Chris Glenn (Beazley USA, Managing General Agent for syndicate out of Lloyd’s, London), and Pat Garrett (North American Insurance…

Events | Roof Evaluations And Concerns Following A Loss

Jan 27, 2020 | By Thomas Keller

This topic provided updated information on the repairability of roofs following a storm. We discussed construction issues, proper evaluation of damage, and legal issues facing…

Blog Posts | A Brief Refresher on Appraisal in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia

Nov 19, 2019 | By Roman Harper

INTRODUCTION Most first-party property coverage policies contain an appraisal provision that allows either the insured or the insurer to make a written demand for appraisal…

Blog Posts | “Slow and Steady” or “Fast and Furious”: Repeated Seepage or Leakage Policy Exclusion Prevails

Nov 14, 2019

A recent ruling in a U.S. District Court in Missouri may suggest a new path for policy exclusions based on “continuous or repeated seepage or…

Webinars | Insurance Coverage Issues Arising from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma Webinar

Nov 07, 2019 | By J. Pablo Cáceres

Partner Pablo Cáceres and co-presenter Jay Jackter of Safeco Insurance Company will present a webinar titled “Insurance Coverage Issues Arising from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma” for the…

Publications/ Whitepapers | As Florida Goes

Sep 06, 2019 | By Timothy Engelbrecht

This article is originally a publication of the Claims and Litigation Management Alliance (CLM) Construction Claims magazine, Fall 2019. Legal opinions may vary when based on subtle…

Publications/ Whitepapers | The Challenges Of Adjusting Pipe Breaks And Sewer Back-Ups

Sep 04, 2019 | By Timothy Engelbrecht

This article is originally a publication of the Southern Loss Association newsletter, August 2019. Legal opinions may vary when based on subtle factual differences. All rights reserved….

Blog Posts | The Evolving Limitations on Appraisers in Florida: Analyzing State Farm Florida Ins. Co. v. Sanders

Aug 13, 2019

Appraisers are frequently involved in Florida property claims. Accordingly, Florida courts continue to refine the roles and limitations with respect to appraisers and the appraisal…

Webinars | Some Like It Hot – Investigation & Legal Issues With Grill Fires

May 01, 2019 | By Michael Montgomery

Partner Michael Montgomery and Jeff Bradshaw of Rimkus Consulting Group, Inc. presented a webinar titled “Some Like It Hot – Investigation & Legal Issues With…

Blog Posts, Court Decisions | Encouraging Proposals for Settlement in Florida: Old Dominion Ins. Co. v. Tipton

Apr 26, 2019

The topic of proposals for settlement in Florida is a dynamic one. Florida courts continue to shape and refine the landscape of proposals and offers…

Blog Posts | Breaking News! Florida AOB Reform Explained

Apr 26, 2019 | By Timothy Engelbrecht

The Florida Legislature just passed a bill that makes significant changes to the assignment of benefits (“AOB”) process in Florida. Governor Ron DeSantis stated he…

Publications/ Whitepapers | White Paper: The “Bomb Cyclone” And Flooding In The Great Plains: Flood And Surface Water In Property Insurance Policies

Apr 02, 2019 | By K. Clark Schirle

To request a copy of Clark Schirle’s “THE “BOMB CYCLONE” AND FLOODING IN THE GREAT PLAINS: FLOOD AND SURFACE WATER IN PROPERTY INSURANCE POLICIES”, please…

Blog Posts | Pennsylvania court rules insurer may still be responsible to pay RCV even if repairs never completed.

Mar 07, 2019 | By Michael McLaughlin

In situations where a property insurer denies coverage, the insured often complains that it is faced with a difficult dilemma – use its own money…

Blog Posts | The Markovits Decision: Considerations and Implications

Feb 26, 2019

Recently, Florida’s First District Court of Appeal held that for purposes of determining the timeliness of a proposal for settlement, the complaint is considered served…

Blog Posts | Not Off the Hook…Trouble in Paradise for Puerto Rico Insurers

Feb 21, 2019 | By Thais Passerieu

Recent legislative and judicial developments in Puerto Rico may very well have revived thousands of claims that insurers believed to be time-barred, per the terms…

Publications/ Whitepapers | The Challenges Of Adjusting Long-Term Water Losses

Feb 04, 2019 | By Timothy Engelbrecht

This article is originally a publication of the Southern Loss Association newsletter, January 2019. Legal opinions may vary when based on subtle factual differences. All rights reserved….

Blog Posts | Introducing the New Florida Supreme Court (from an Insurance Perspective)

Jan 25, 2019 | By Matthew Lavisky

Ron DeSantis, the newly sworn Governor of the State of Florida, was given a unique opportunity to remake the Florida Supreme Court within his first…

Webinars | Challenges and Strategies Defending Florida Property Insurance Claims – 2018 WEBINAR

Sep 25, 2018 | By Matthew Lavisky

Partner Matthew Lavisky held a discussion on Florida property insurance trends and recent case law. In this presentation, he covered topics including defenses to lawsuits for breach…

Blog Posts | Hurricane Florence: Civil Authority and Ingress/Egress Coverage

Sep 19, 2018 | By K. Clark Schirle

The hurricane may trigger civil authority or ingress/egress coverage for businesses that are not directly damaged but lose income because they cannot access their operations for…

Blog Posts | Hurricane Florence is aiming for the Carolinas

Sep 10, 2018 | By T. Nicholas Goanos, L. Andrew Watson

Hurricane Florence is rapidly intensifying into a major hurricane and is expected to make landfall later this week in North Carolina and South Carolina. The storm…

Blog Posts | Full Consent to Assignments

Sep 06, 2018 | By William Collum

Because there can be more than one individual or entity that holds an interest in the property, a property insurance policy is generally drafted in…

Publications/ Whitepapers | John Garaffa “Business Interruption And Damage Claims”

Aug 21, 2018 | By John Garaffa

Partner John Garaffa wrote a chapter titled “Business Interruption and Damage Claims” for the 5th Edition of The Complete Guide to Economic Damages. This text is…

Publications/ Whitepapers | Perspectives On The Ali Restatement: The Plain Meaning Rule Or Presumption?

Jun 20, 2018 | By Jason Seitz

This article is originally a publication of The National Insurance Law Forum, June 2018. Legal opinions may vary when based on subtle factual differences. All rights reserved….

Publications/ Whitepapers | Good-Faith Claim Handling In Florida – Part Ii

Jun 13, 2018 | By Timothy Engelbrecht, Matthew Lavisky

This article is originally a publication of the Southern Loss Association’s Newsletter, June 2018. Legal opinions may vary when based on subtle factual differences. All rights reserved….

Publications/ Whitepapers | Allocating Responsibility For Defense And Indemnity Costs Among Multiple Insurers

Apr 30, 2018 | By Jason Seitz

This article is originally a publication of National Insurance Law Forum, April 2018. Legal opinions may vary when based on subtle factual differences. All rights reserved. Analysis…

Podcasts | Defending first-Party Property Bad Faith Lawsuits

Apr 24, 2018 | By Matthew Lavisky

Lawsuits for First-Party Property bad faith presented unique challenges to Florida insurers. In Part Two of this webinar series, common issues insurers face when defending…

First-Party Coverage