Peter J. LaufenbergAttorney

Wendel Rosen Black & Dean LLP 1111 Broadway, 24th FloorOakland, CA 94607

Insurance Risk Management and Litigation Practice

Peter is an insurance and risk management expert whose practice focuses primarily on helping large-scale real estate developers and contractors keep more of their profits by transferring risk when things go wrong. He regularly advises and litigates on behalf of REITS, Fortune and S&P 500 corporations, major real estate developers, condominium converters, and captive insurers. Peter has extensive experience analyzing and negotiating wrap insurance programs, builders risk programs, property policies general liability policies, professional liability policies, and employment liability polices.

Peter regularly drafts insurance and related provisions for various types of contracts, including real estate purchase and sale agreements, construction and design contracts, CC&R’s, and vendor contracts. He prepares and negotiates insurance specifications, wrap insurance exhibits, indemnity provisions, and condo conversion-related provisions. For captive insurers, Peter drafts the insurance policies and provisions issued by the captive. He advises corporations in asset and stock sales, acquisitions, and mergers to ensure insurance coverage is preserved.

Peter frequently represents clients on claims and coverage disputes. He has handled several claims involving tens of millions in losses under construction wrap insurance programs and builders risk policies, as well as multi-million dollar personal injury claims involving quadriplegia and roadway deaths. Peter’s clients often engage him as “independent” or “monitoring” counsel to ensure that the insurance carriers fulfill their obligations and settle claims consistent with their duties of good faith and fair dealing.

Peter also litigates insurance coverage disputes when necessary to recover benefits for his clients. He has settled multi-million dollar construction defect claims with contributions from multiple insurers and no contribution from his client, and obtained multi-million dollar settlements for food manufacturers on claims the insurers had denied outright. He has also recovered money for his clients from bankrupt and dissolved companies through their insurers.

Peter chairs the firm’s Insurance Practice Group. He regularly speaks on insurance and risk management related topics.  He has been an editor for the Insurance Litigation Reporter since 2006. He updates the CEB chapter on California’s “Right to Repair” law (SB800), and has twice been named a Northern California ‘Super Lawyer.’

California Title Insurance and Escrow Regulatory Practice

As a lead Partner in the firm’s Title Insurance and Escrow Regulatory Practice, Peter represents title insurers and underwritten title agents (UTCs) in formation, licensing, compliance and investigation matters. Peter has successfully prosecuted dozens of regulatory applications before the California Department of Insurance (DOI). He forms and licenses new UTCs, helps existing UTCs expand their licenses incrementally or statewide, and handles UTC stock or asset purchase-and-sale transactions.  Peter also reviews and advises UTCs on underwriting agreements and related issues.

He also advises UTCs on regulatory compliance issues, including RESPA, state-law anti-kickback rules, affiliated business arrangements (AfBAs), workshare arrangements, controlled business, and net worth and insolvency-related matters. He advises clients in regulatory investigations and vigorously represents their interests if an enforcement action is brought.

Peter has practiced title insurance regulatory law for nearly a decade. He knows and is well known to the regulators at the California DOI, where he is known for his knowledge, integrity, speed, and efficiency.



Insurance Coverage and Bad Faith Disputes

  • Obtained insurance coverage for a lawsuit against an international Internet-based company after coverage was initially denied

  • Obtained insurance coverage for a lawsuit against a quasi-governmental agency after the claim was initially denied, allowing the case to settle with the insurer paying nearly 100% of the settlement

  • Forced multiple insurance carriers for a townhouse developer to settle a multi-million dollar construction defect lawsuit with no contribution from the policyholder/developer

  • Forced carriers in construction defect lawsuit to pay significantly larger share of the settlement for the plaintiff's claims

  • Represented various parties in protracted insurance-coverage litigation relating to environmental contamination at industrial sites

  • Obtained near 100% recovery for a major publicly held corporation after its insurer denied coverage for mold-related claims

  • Negotiated resolutions of complex coverage issues involving claims-made and reported professional liability claims

  • Obtained high-limit excess insurance coverage without litigation, after the carrier had initially denied the claim


Risk Management Related Experience

  • Provided contractual and insurance risk transfer advice and consultation on large condominium development projects

  • Evaluated owner controlled insurance programs ("OCIPs") on large common interest developments

  • Reviewed construction contract to transfer risk and ensure smooth operation of OCIP insurance programs

  • Documented and implemented of comprehensive SB 800 ("Fix-It" law) programs

  • Provided advice regarding integrated risk management strategies

  • Provided insurance and risk management-related due diligence in corporate asset and stock acquisitions


Construction Defect Related Experience 

  • Extensive experience defending regional and national residential home builders in construction defect litigation throughout California.


Available Articles:

  • Insurance Litigation Reporter, Editorial Board, 2006-2008
  • "Real Estate Industry Should Brace for Probes and Fines," San Francisco Daily Journal, September 28, 2005



California Insurance Law Reports

California Land Title Association

Insurance Litigation Reports
  • Advisory Board Member

American Bar Association

Alameda County Bar Association

Featured Presentations:

  • “Proving Damages Caused by Mold Infestation,” panelist, National Business Institute, November 13, 2008


  • Selected for inclusion in Northern California Super Lawyers magazine, 2014-2016