Archives: Insurance General

Subscribe to Insurance General RSS Feed

Hurricane Ian and Hurricane Nicole: Answering questions policyholders frequently ask (or should ask) to ensure maximum recovery

At $40-70 billion in estimated insured losses, Hurricane Ian is the nation’s second most expensive natural disaster for the insurance industry. Less than two months later, Hurricane Nicole made landfall in Florida. Securing insurance coverage for these losses will be an important part of rebuilding and recovery. Recently, Reed Smith’s insurance coverage lawyers hosted a … Continue Reading

Direct physical loss in COVID Coverage cases: Are policyholders seeing a litigation shift in favor of COVID-19 coverage?

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic led to unprecedented closures and losses for businesses throughout the United States. Naturally, policyholders have sought recovery for pandemic-related losses under their “all risk” commercial property policies. According to the University of Pennsylvania Carey School of Law Covid Coverage Litigation Tracker, there have been approximately 2,300 of these COVID-19 coverage cases … Continue Reading

Maximizing recovery for combined wind and flood damages in hurricane claims

This year, Hurricane Ian swept through the Southeastern United States, causing extensive damage to property in the affected areas. While obtaining insurance recoveries for any loss can be a complex endeavor, recovery for hurricane loss is particularly complex, as it typically involves a mix of covered and excluded perils. Most standard homeowners or other property … Continue Reading

Amy’s Kitchen: A step in the right direction

On October 4, the California First Appellate District in Amy’s Kitchen, Inc. v. Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company, 2022 Cal. App. LEXIS 836, reversed a trial court’s order granting the insurer’s demurrer in a COVID-19 property damage claim, and remanded to allow the policyholder to amend its allegations of loss under a communicable disease coverage extension.  … Continue Reading

Pay and pay without delay – Section 13A of the Insurance Act 2015

How often have we seen insurers raise spurious defences, ask further questions and delay payment of good claims for years? For obvious reasons, the insured’s priority when making a claim under any type of insurance policy is that the claim is successfully and promptly resolved. However, it was not until 2016 that any statutory guidance was … Continue Reading

Calculating business income losses for a business interruption claim

Many commercial property insurance policies require that policyholders submit a Sworn Statement in a Proof of Loss (also referred to as “Proof of Loss”) in order to receive benefits under the policy. A Proof of Loss provides the insurer with specific information about the incident giving rise to the claim, such as the cause, the nature … Continue Reading

Insurance coverage for sexual abuse in New York

With the passage of New York’s Child Victim’s Act (the “CVA”) and similar revival statutes around the United States, there have been literally thousands of formerly time-barred actions commenced against institutions such as churches and other religious organizations, schools, camps, and other groups working with children for damages on account of sexual abuse by their … Continue Reading

Key considerations for companies in procuring or renewing D&O coverage

Directors’ and Officers’ liability (“D&O”) insurance offers key protections to a company’s board members and management by serving as a financial backstop for their indemnification rights as well as their personal assets in the event directors or officers are the subject of claims or investigations based on their service to the company.  D&O insurance also … Continue Reading

A tightening cyber insurance market: War exclusions in the wake of Merck v. Ace

As cyber risks continue to grow and evolve, the cyber insurance market is increasingly likely to take steps to limit its risk profile, often in the form of new or broadened policy exclusions. Cyber insurers are continuously evaluating, amending, and restructuring their insurance products (including their capacity, and, importantly, their pricing) to reflect what they … Continue Reading

A policyholder win: Court finds coverage for COVID-19 related losses

Recently, a California federal court issued a favorable decision for policyholders seeking coverage for losses arising from COVID-19 who paid significant premiums to purchase substantial coverage limits including “coverage for business interruption losses from a virus.”  Sunstone Hotel Investors, Inc. v. Endurance Am. Spec. Ins. Co., Case No. SACV 20-02185 (C.D. Cal., June 15, 2022). … Continue Reading

Court’s denial of employment liability coverage for Biometric Information Privacy Act litigation should not discourage policyholders

Although the policyholder bar has previously had success obtaining coverage for Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) litigation under an employment practices liability (EPL) policy, insurers recently notched a win by convincing a court to deny EPL coverage for an employee-based BIPA class action.  In Church Mutual Insurance Company v. Prairie Village Supportive Living, LLC, the … Continue Reading

Don’t forget the supplementary payments solution to the defense cost recoupment problem

States continue to disagree about whether an insurer that defends its insured in a lawsuit can reserve a right to recoup its defense costs from the policyholder if the carrier wins a declaratory judgment that it owed no duty to defend.  Courts in New York and Nevada recently took opposite positions on the issue, but … Continue Reading

You’ve been sued: An insurance attorney’s top tips for securing (and preserving) coverage

Do not assume insurance coverage is unavailable   Today’s insurance market is complex.  It encompasses a wide range of insurance policies covering all manner of events and circumstances.  Beyond more traditional coverage for personal injury or property damage (under commercial general liability (CGL) policies), companies now routinely purchase Directors & Officers (D&O) policies, Errors & Omissions … Continue Reading

Looking beyond “Physical Damage to Property”: Is Marina Pacific Hotel a winning framework for policyholders?

It’s no secret that businesses of all shapes and sizes have suffered tremendous losses during the COVID-19 pandemic. From closures to the “Great Resignation” to ever-changing consumer demands, businesses have dealt with one problem after another. One of those problems is the denial of insurance coverage under  “all risk” commercial property policies. For the last … Continue Reading

Tailoring insurance to protect transactions and contingent risks

Parties to business transactions frequently seek to protect themselves against specific financing, litigation and transactional risks through insurance.  The types of insurance to protect business’s interests and risks in M&A is growing:  Insurance for breaches of contractual representations and warranties have become increasingly common, both for buyers and sellers. Standard-form policies may provide coverage for … Continue Reading

Pet insurance: Proposed model rules may afford better protection to paw-licyholders

Pet insurance is becoming a popular choice for pet owners, fueled by an increase in pet ownership during the pandemic, advancements in veterinary medicine, and a growing recognition that pets (or “companion animals”) are members of the family. Although the pet insurance industry is accelerating at a record pace, many owners have been irritated by … Continue Reading

Can property or specie insurance provide coverage for crypto losses?

How cryptocurrencies are viewed by courts can be determinative when seeking coverage for a cryptocurrency-related loss, and whether cryptocurrency is “money,” “securities,” or “property” has been the subject of heavy debate. In our previous blog post, we explored how your current D&O and/or cyber insurance policies may provide coverage for crypto-related losses. In this article, … Continue Reading

Two state Supreme Courts reach commercially reasonable results by permitting post-loss assignments  

The well-established principle that a policyholder may assign benefits under an insurance policy following a loss was recently reaffirmed by state supreme courts in two jurisdictions:  South Carolina and Puerto Rico. These two jurisdictions join the majority rule, which holds that assignments following an insured loss are permissible because they do not change the scope … Continue Reading

Insurance applications seeking an insured’s subjective opinions cannot support insurer defenses of misrepresentation or concealment

When applying for insurance, prospective (or existing) insureds are frequently asked to confirm, either in a formal application or in a side letter, that they are not aware of any circumstances, incidents or events that could result in a claim being made against it.  If the insured identifies any potential claim, the insurer will either … Continue Reading

War exclusion: changing battlefields and coverage implications

In early February of this year, we wrote about a New Jersey court’s recent decision in Merck & Co., Inc. et al. v. Ace American Ins. Co. et al., Case No. UNN-L-2682-18 (N.J. Sup. Ct.) regarding the applicability of a “war exclusion” for acts of cyberwarfare.  Shortly thereafter, the Russian invasion of Ukraine once again … Continue Reading

Are your crypto risks insured? Look at D&O and cyber policies first

Evidenced by its $1.29 trillion market cap, (CoinMarketCap, May 17, 2022) interest in cryptocurrency has skyrocketed in recent years (Haar, 2022). Indeed, as of April 2, 2022, the cryptocurrency market was larger than Italy’s GDP, the eighth largest in the world (Adams and Walker, 2022). Of course, with more interest and value comes more risk, … Continue Reading

Florida: the time to move for attorney’s fees post-appraisal

Most residential property policies provide for an “appraisal” as an alternative dispute resolution mechanism when the insurer concedes coverage for a loss in whole or part, but the amount of the loss is disputed. The resulting appraisal award is binding on the parties absent certain limited grounds for challenging the award or the insurer’s obligation … Continue Reading

Policyholders grapple with strategies for responding to New York’s new insurance disclosure law

Insurance disclosure requirements have just become far more complex and onerous for parties that face litigation in New York state courts. In our January article (updated in February), we discussed the particulars of New York’s new Comprehensive Insurance Disclosure Act as it stood when the legislation was signed into law in late December 2021 and as … Continue Reading
LexBlog