2021 was a record year for insurance case filings with increases in cases concerning hurricanes, automobiles, and business liability.
Menlo Park, CA — July 14, 2022 — Lex Machina, a LexisNexis company, today releases its 2022 Insurance Litigation Report. The report examines insurance litigation trends in federal district and appellate courts. It focuses on the five-year period from 2017 to 2021 and surveys emerging trends in case filings, venues, judges, law firms, parties, timing metrics, case resolutions, findings, and damages.
In 2021, 14,793 insurance cases were filed in federal district court. This is the most case filings of any year in the Lex Machina database, which goes back to 2009. Lex Machina’s insurance module specifically groups cases by the following case types: automobile insurance, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM), homeowners insurance, hurricane-related cases, business liability, business interruption and life insurance. Hurricane-related cases saw the largest increase between 2020 and 2021; however, automobile insurance and business liability insurance cases also increased between 2020 and 2021.
In 2021, 26% of all insurance litigation in federal district courts was hurricane-related. Over 3,800 hurricane-related insurance lawsuits were filed in 2021. These filings vary greatly from year to year depending on whether there were large storms, but this was the highest-number of filings of any year since 2009.
Double exposure of Hurricane Ida approaching New Orleans on August 29, 2021; image by Brian McGowan, via Unsplash.com.“Insurance is a very active practice area right now, and filtering between similar groups of cases is crucial,” said Ron Porter, Lex Machina’s insurance legal data expert. “By filtering case types, we are able to understand how much hurricane-related cases have affected the insurance practice, as well as look at trends in cases with very different fact patterns such as business interruption and automobile insurance cases.”
Findings from the report include:
In 2021, insurance case filings reached a record 14,793 cases, which was a 47% increase in case filings over the last five years (2017-2021).
Business interruption cases peaked in 2020, but a significant number of cases continued to be filed in 2021.
In 2021, 26% of all insurance litigation in federal district courts was hurricane-related.
From 2017 to 2021, the Southern District of Florida heard the highest number of insurance case filings with 4,084 cases, while the Ninth Circuit heard the highest number of appeals with 647 appeals docketed.
Despite the fact that State Farm separates its automobile coverage and fire and casualty coverage into two separate companies, both companies were the most active defendants, each with over 1000 cases more than the next most active defendant.
The most active plaintiffs’ law firm was Pandit Law, and the most active defendants’ law firm was Butler Weihmuller Katz Craig.
Insurance cases that were appealed and received a decision on the merits of the appeal were reversed 25% of the time.
In 2021, over $157M damages were awarded in 123 cases.
Lex Machina’s reports and software enable practitioners to devise data-driven litigation strategies. The metrics in this report may help readers decide who to pursue as clients, whether to pursue a particular motion, or when to settle. This research supplements traditional legal research and anecdotal data for a competitive edge in litigation.
Register here for a copy of the report: https://pages.lexmachina.com/2022InsuranceLitigationReport_LP.html
About LexisNexis Legal & Professional
LexisNexis Legal & Professional® provides legal, regulatory, and business information and analytics that help customers increase their productivity, improve decision-making, achieve better outcomes, and advance the rule of law around the world. As a digital pioneer, the company was the first to bring legal and business information online with its Lexis® and Nexis® services. LexisNexis Legal & Professional, which serves customers in more than 150 countries with 10,500 employees worldwide, is part of RELX, a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers.
About Lex Machina
Lex Machina fundamentally changes how companies and law firms compete in the business and practice of law. The company provides strategic insights on judges, lawyers, law firms, parties, and other critical information across 17 federal practice areas and a rapidly growing number of state courts. Lex Machina allows law firms and companies to predict the behaviors and outcomes that different legal strategies will produce, enabling them to win cases and close business.
Lex Machina was named “Greater Bay Area Top Workplaces 2022” (The San Francisco Chronicle Top Workplaces in the Bay Area 2022), “2021 Legal Technology Trailblazer” (National Law Journal Trailblazer Awards, 2021), Winner of the “Media Excellence” Award for Analytics/Big Data (13th Annual Media Excellence Award, 2021), “Best Decision Management Solution” (AI Breakthrough Awards, 2019), and “Disruptor of the Year” (Changing Lawyer Awards, 2019). Based in Silicon Valley, Lex Machina is part of LexisNexis, a leading global provider of legal, regulatory, and business information and analytics. For more information, please visit www.lexmachina.com.
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