Notice, Tender and Reservation of Rights: Crafting Coverage Correspondence, Evaluating Issues Raised by Defense Under ROR

A live 90-minute CLE webinar with interactive Q&A

Wednesday, July 12, 2017
1:00pm-2:30pm EDT, 10:00am-11:30am PDT

This CLE webinar will provide insurance counsel with a review of drafting claims and related correspondence, including the policyholder’s notice and tender of a claim, and the insurer’s response and reservation-of-rights (ROR) letter. The program will focus on critical issues that arise from a defense under an ROR, including the insurer’s right to reimbursement of defense costs, potential conflicts of interest, control of the defense, and the impact of an ROR on defenses not specifically waived.


Initial claims-related correspondence presents numerous issues that counsel must consider to preserve coverage rights and reserve the right to deny coverage. Policyholder counsel must consider the timing and substance of the notice of claims as well as state law requirements for tender of defense.

When the insurer agrees to defend under an ROR, drafting an effective and comprehensive ROR letter is critical. A defense under an ROR raises numerous issues that both policyholder and insurer counsel must consider and respond to appropriately.

Critical issues raised include the insurer’s right to reimbursement of defense costs if it later prevails on the coverage issue, and potential conflicts of interest, control of the defense and the impact of an ROR on defenses not specifically waived.

Listen as our panel of policyholder and insurer counsel provides best practices for drafting claims-related correspondence and identifies critical issues that counsel must consider when the insurer agrees to provide a defense under an ROR. The panel will analyze key issues that arise from a defense under ROR, including the insurer’s right to reimbursement of defense costs, potential conflicts of interest, control of the defense, and impact of an ROR on defenses not specifically waived.


  1. Policyholder notice of claim and reservation of rights
    1. Timing
    2. Substance
    3. State law requirements for tender of defense
  2. Insurer’s response and reservation of rights letter
  3. Critical issues raised by a defense under an ROR
    1. Insurer’s right to reimbursement of defense costs
    2. Potential conflicts of interest
    3. Control of the defense
    4. Impact of an ROR on defenses not specifically waived


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What is the distinction between notice of claims and a tender of defense?
  • What factors must policyholder counsel consider when presenting the insurer with notice of claims?
  • What should a comprehensive ROR letter include and what issues must the insurer consider?
  • How can the policyholder effectively respond to the insurer’s agreement to defend under an ROR?
  • How do the courts determine whether the insurer may be entitled to reimbursement of defense costs for uncovered claims?


Christian A. Cavallo, Partner
Goldberg Segalla, Newark, N.J.

Mr. Cavallo is an insurance coverage litigator representing insurers in high-value cases in state and federal courts. His practice involves drafting coverage opinions and memoranda analyzing his clients’ rights and obligations under complex insurance contracts and providing advice to claims personnel and assigned counsel concerning a wide variety of coverage issues.

Renee C. Callantine, Principal
Cornerstone Law Group, San Francisco

Ms. Callantine is the head of the Firm's insurance coverage practice. Her practice is primarily concentrated on representing policyholders in coverage disputes, including litigation over alleged bad-faith claims handling. She also provides coverage advice and representation at appraisal hearings, and she assists brokers in responding to Department of Insurance complaints. She has extensive experience in property and casualty claims, ranging from personal lines homeowners and automobile policies to complex commercial lines policies. As a CPA, she is often asked to assist with claims and litigation involving complex business interruption losses or other complicated accounting issues.

Eliot M. Harris, Member
Williams Kastner, Seattle

Mr. Harris' practice focuses on commercial litigation with an emphasis on insurance coverage, including general liability coverage, intellectual property coverage, construction defect coverage, and professional liability coverage. He also is experienced defending lawsuits involving catastrophic personal injuries, environmental toxic tort, intellectual property and product liability matters. He wrote an article for the Business Litigation Committee Newsletter of the ABA, on insurer's duty to defend, The Duty to Defend: What Insurers, Insureds and Their Counsel Need to Know When Faced With a Liability Coverage Dispute.

Christopher R. Weiss, Esq.
Goldberg Segalla, Newark, N.J.

Mr. Weiss focuses his practice on representing insurers in complex insurance coverage disputes. In addition to his work on behalf of insurers embroiled in matters arising from Superstorm Sandy, his experience also includes defending a range of entities and individuals in professional liability and premises liability actions.

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Customer Reviews

 The program was extremely informative, easy to access and very organized.

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Fineman Krekstein & Harris

The seminar was very good. I liked that it was fast paced and informative with experienced knowledgeable speakers.

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Content was superb.

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Webb & Carey

This seminar covered a lot of territory in a short period of time. It also assumed that the attendees had a significant level of experience coming into the program, which I did.

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The program topic was very timely.

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Insurance Law Advisory Board

John Broghammer


Greve Clifford Wengel & Paras

Tred Eyerly


Damon Key Leong Kupchak Hastert

John D. Green


Farella Braun + Martel

Alan P. Jacobus


Law Offices of Alan Palmer Jacobus

William E. Kelley, Jr.


Drewry Simmons Vornehm

William O. Krekstein


Timoney Knox

Jay M. Levin

Principal and Chair of the Insurance Recovery Practice

Offit Kurman

Peter J. Mintzer


Selman Breitman

Barry S. Neuman


Whiteford Taylor Preston

Andrew G. Wanger


Clyde & Co.

Britton D. Weimer


Weimer & Weeding

Sandra I. Weishart


Hinshaw & Culbertson

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