Tag Archives: Insurance

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

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

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

Recent opinions provide support for insureds seeking coverage for BIPA claims

Since the Illinois Supreme Court’s ruling that class actions alleging violations of the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (“BIPA”) trigger general liability coverage, the focus of BIPA coverage litigation has shifted to the applicability of three exclusions often found in general liability policies: (1) the Employment Related Practices exclusion, (2) the Violation of Statutes exclusion, … Continue Reading

Guaranteed Rate v. Ace American Insurance – a victory for policyholders seeking coverage for government investigations

Government investigations by SEC, DOJ, and state attorney generals are a significant source of exposure for companies and their directors and officers. Companies can spend millions of dollars responding to a government subpoena or investigative demand. The broadly worded demands for information or testimony typically require extensive searches through mountains of paper documents and electronically … Continue Reading

D&O insurance to counter ESG litigation – new issues for insurers and policyholders

Strong environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) business policies are critical to address the fluctuating, unprecedented risks in this changing climate. Any company planning to expand and thrive in the next few decades must evaluate its collective conscientiousness for social and environmental factors, including preparing for the social and market upheavals resulting from greenhouse gas … Continue Reading

“Illinois’ ‘targeted tender’ rule – a powerful strategy for insureds to select and deselect triggered policies to maximize coverage

Businesses with liability insurance coverage governed by Illinois law should be mindful to take advantage of Illinois’ “targeted tender” rule, which provides insureds a unique strategy for maximizing insurance recoveries for claims triggering multiple different policies. This rule recognizes an insured’s right to “target tender” one or more concurrent insurance policies from a group of … Continue Reading

Responding to a cyber-related business interruption: best practices

One of the top issues facing business today is the risk of business interruption resulting from a cyber-related attack. Regardless of the form of attack – ransomware, denial of service, data theft, or other form of malware – any resulting failure of an organization’s network systems can have severe consequences, financial and otherwise. These may … Continue Reading

The duty to defend requires an early judgment

If an insurance company owes a duty to defend, the dispute should be decided promptly, on the pleadings. Any delay undermines the duty to defend. The scope of the duty to defend should be adjudicated on the pleadings as quickly as possible to give policyholders the true value of their policies and the benefit of … Continue Reading

D&O insurance basics (Part 2)

Directors’ and officers’ liability (D&O) insurance protects the personal assets of corporate directors and officers in the event of a lawsuit or other “claim” made against them for, among other things, an alleged breach of their duties in managing the organization.  D&O insurance directly covers individual directors and officers for their defense costs, judgments against … Continue Reading

D&O insurance basics (Part 1)

This is the first of two posts discussing several major aspects of directors’ and officers’ liability (“D&O”) insurance coverage.  Companies approaching a policy renewal deadline, looking to place D&O insurance for the first time, considering increasing the size or structure of an existing D&O insurance program, or otherwise evaluating their overall risk management strategy may … Continue Reading

In historic vote, U.S. House passes SAFE Banking Act; but, what will U.S. Senate do?

In a historic moment, the U.S. House of Representatives, yesterday, voted 321 to 103 in favor of H.R.1595, the Secure and Fair Enforcement Banking Act of 2019, also known as the “SAFE Banking Act.”  If ultimately enacted into law, this legislation would provide insurers, as well as banks and other institutions, a “safe harbor” to … Continue Reading

Texas Legislature Votes to Restrict Policyholders’ Rights

Texas lawmakers are now on the fast track to restrict policyholders’ rights when their insurance companies fail to pay property insurance claims arising out of weather events, such as storms involving heavy winds and hail. Now that the Texas Senate has approved House Bill 1774, Governor Abbott is almost sure to sign it.  Unfortunately, this … Continue Reading

The Expanded French Class Action System May Impact Liability and Insurance Coverage For Corporations Domiciled and Doing Business in France

Although the French class action system has gotten off to a slow start with only 6 actions initiated to date, the recently and anticipated expanded scope of the French class action system will impact the potential liability and insurance coverage of corporations domiciled and doing business in France. To learn more about the implications of … Continue Reading

Companies can insure against cyber ransom

National Public Radio and other news outlets are reporting that a Los Angeles-area hospital recently paid a $17,000 ransom (in the form of 40 bitcoins) to hackers to unencrypt its computer networks, which had been held hostage after “ransomware” was introduced into the hospital’s network. Ransomware is a form of malicious software, or “malware,” that encrypts … Continue Reading

United States Department of Justice Announces “Best Practices” for Addressing Cyber Attacks

In light of the growing concern over cybersecurity, the United Stated Department of Justice (“DOJ”) issued guidance last week on how to prepare for and respond to cyber attacks.  Taking lessons learned by federal prosecutors while handling cyber investigations, and input from private sector companies that have managed cyber incidents, the guidance contains a step-by-step guide … Continue Reading

Proving Your Business Income Loss: Defeating Insurance Company Challenges to Policyholder Evidence

Courts commonly observe that the purpose of Business Interruption or Business Income insurance is to put the policyholder in the same position it would have been in had there been no interruption. The Business Interruption inquiry is, thus, counterfactual. As such, for Business Interruption claims that go to trial, insurance companies and policyholders alike usually … Continue Reading

New York Department of Financial Services Announces New Cyber Security Measures Directed at Strengthening Insurers’ Cyber Defenses

The New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) announced last week a series of measures it plans to take "to help strengthen cyber hacking defenses at insurers." Those measures include, among other things: regular, targeted assessments of cyber security preparedness at insurance companies; putting forward enhanced regulations requiring institutions to meet heightened standards for cyber security; and considering the ways in which NYDFS can support and encourage the development of the cyber security insurance market. The NYDFS stated that it plans to initiate these measures in the coming weeks and months.… Continue Reading

Pursuing Insurance Coverage for Alleged Mislabeling of Dietary and Herbal Supplement Products

Businesses in the dietary supplement supply chain are taking cover after the New York Attorney General (NYAG) ordered four major retailers to cease and desist the sale and alleged mislabeling of certain herbal supplements. After genetically testing store-brand product samples of Ginko Biloba, St. John's Wort, Ginseng, Garlic, Echinacea, and Saw Palmetto, the NYAG alleged that the supplements were unrecognizable or contained substances other than those disclosed on their packaging labels. Class action lawsuits already have been filed, and the NYAG directed the targeted retailers to provide it with detailed information regarding the manufacturing, testing, and procurement of the herbal supplements, and announced that it may bring charges for alleged deceptive practices in advertising.… Continue Reading
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