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

Oct 12, 2021 | By K. Clark Schirle, Mary Bishara

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…

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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…

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


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…

First-Party Coverage