Most businesses rely on insurance to protect against potentially catastrophic property loss, business interruption and liability claims, as well as specific risks such as environmental liabilities, employment liabilities and cyber risks. Insurance is a valuable and expensive asset; Thompson Hine has extensive experience in helping companies review and structure their insurance programs, as well as in pursuing and obtaining insurance recovery.

Our Insurance Counseling & Recovery group has experience with a wide array of policy forms used throughout the United States and Europe. We have represented policyholders in connection with a variety of claims, including long-tail environmental claims, construction defect claims, claims against directors and officers, claims against professionals, claims arising out of “fronting” and high SIR arrangements and catastrophic liability claims involving multiple claimants. Our professionals have handled cases resulting in the recovery of tens of millions of dollars.

We have had considerable success in reaching negotiated or mediated settlements with insurance carriers without the expense and distraction of litigation. Our professionals know how to provide the information required and make the arguments that resolve claims. At the same time, we are always ready to go to court when necessary.

Our work includes:

  • Evaluating and pursuing insurance recovery for a wide variety of claims, including long-tail environmental liabilities, construction defects, catastrophic personal injuries, cyber liabilities, and claims against directors and officers and professionals.
  • Responding to reservations of rights or denials of coverage.
  • Reviewing and analyzing insurance programs in connection with establishing a new business, a new line of business, or annual renewals.
  • Conducting due diligence of insured or potentially insured claims in connection with mergers and acquisitions.
  • Drafting manuscript endorsements for policies.
  • Protecting policyholders’ rights by serving as independent counsel in litigation being defended by counsel chosen by insurance companies.

Christopher M. Bechhold


Examples of our experience include:

  • Obtaining insurance coverage for asbestos claims asserted against a global manufacturer of valves and pumps under commercial general, umbrella and excess liability policies.
  • Obtaining insurance coverage for silica claims asserted against a national manufacturer of refractory products.
  • Obtaining coverage under commercial general, umbrella and excess liabilities policies for claims asserted by federal and state authorities for environmental contamination of public dump sites.
  • Bringing claims for an apartment complex developer for hurricane damage under a builder’s risk policy, recovering full compensatory damages at trial in the Eastern District of Virginia, with judgment affirmed on appeal.
  • Obtaining coverage for a large engineering company under a professional liability policy relating to a troubled industrial project, resulting in a confidential settlement.
  • Obtaining a business interruption coverage settlement for a recycling company in connection with a catastrophic fire.
  • Obtaining coverage on summary judgment for a utility as an “additional insured” under a contractor’s general liability policy in connection with underlying wrongful death claims.
  • Representing a farm in connection with a nuisance claim brought by multiple neighboring property owners where the insurers sought to avoid coverage based on the “absolute” pollution exclusion, resulting in confidential settlements of insurance claims and the underlying nuisance claim.
  • Obtaining coverage for a software application developer in connection with underlying claims for alleged misappropriation of trade secrets and breach of contract, resulting in a confidential settlement of coverage claims and underlying claims.
  • Representing a developer in obtaining insurance coverage for claims by over 100 property owners alleging construction defects in a large condominium conversion project, resulting in a confidential settlement.
  • Obtaining coverage under a first-party property policy in excess of policy limits for a multimillion-dollar fire loss.
  • Obtaining coverage under a general liability policy for claims arising out of environmental contamination at the site of a former manufacturing plant.
  • Representing former directors of a financial institution in obtaining coverage under a D&O policy for a claim asserted by a bankruptcy trustee, resulting in a confidential settlement.
  • Representing a subcontractor as independent counsel in connection with claims defended by insurance defense counsel regarding the collapse of a structure under construction, resulting in a confidential settlement.