Participation and communication with insurance carriers ordinarily are not directly addressed in the environmental court case. There may be ancillary lawsuits between various policy-holders and their insurers but these are normally stayed pending resolution of liability issues in the underlying environmental case. Even where the insurance coverage cases are not stayed, there is no formal – and little informal – coordination among the various cases.
The involvement of insurance carrier representatives in settlement negotiations often is left to individual lawyer preference, which may be insufficient to bring about a successfully negotiated outcome. All too often some or all of the insurers are brought into settlement discussions too late in the process, which causes delays.
An environmental mediator anticipates the carriers’ needs so that they are adequately prepared to negotiate at the right time. Attention is also given to the carriers’ needs to coordinate their efforts with other insurers at the same level of a party’s insurance profile, as well as with excess carriers and reinsurers.