Tag Archives: Policyholders

Too damaged to repair? How to maximize your insurance recovery

When a loss event badly damages a key piece of equipment or machinery, an insured business often faces the complicated question: repair or replace? This is especially so when the extent of the damage is unclear because some may still be hidden. A business presented with this dilemma is well advised to go through that … Continue Reading

A tale of two opinions: The meaning of “physical loss” in the context of commercial property policies for Covid-19-related losses in Pennsylvania

With the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, businesses across the country were forced to shut their doors and turn to their commercial property insurance companies to seek coverage. With their properties having been rendered useless for their intended (and insured) business purposes, these insureds reasonably expected their “all risk” policies would provide the promised … Continue Reading

Physical loss and reasonable expectations of policyholders: The Third Circuit whiffs

On January 6, 2023, the Third Circuit affirmed lower court rulings in 14 consolidated appeals from orders dismissing claims for property damage and business interruption losses resulting from the coronavirus and/or COVID-19. Policyholder lawyers can (and will) find fault with many parts of Wilson v. USI Ins. Service LLC, Case No. 20-3124, in which the Third … Continue Reading

Liability insurance in mass tort bankruptcy cases – A brief primer

Chapter 11 bankruptcy as a means for resolving mass tort claims In recent years, a growing number of defendants have sought to use reorganization under chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code to obtain permanent and complete relief from mass tort claims. Many of these entities were defendants in asbestos bodily injury litigation, and were … Continue Reading

Policyholders seeking coverage for Covid-19-related losses may have reason to be optimistic

I recently wrote about lessons that could be learned from the ongoing insurance coverage jurisprudence related to the coronavirus / Covid-19 pandemic.  That article discussed broad trends that had developed and cohered across this vast litigation landscape, through multiple decisions in many courts over the course of several months or more.  Although descriptive, most of … Continue Reading

COVID-19 business income claims – Will state appellate courts reject federal court predictions as to state law?

In the past few months, in cases considering whether SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 can cause direct physical loss or damage to property so as to trigger business income coverage, policyholders have secured three wins in state appellate courts: Ungarean in the Superior Court of Pennsylvania, Huntington Ingalls in the Vermont Supreme Court, and Cajun Conti in the Louisiana … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court rules in favor of policyholders: what we learn from Yahoo! Inc. v. National Fire Insurance 

Earlier this month, the California Supreme Court, in Yahoo Inc. v. National Union Fire Insurance Co. of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Supreme Court of California No. S253593, ruled in favor of Yahoo, Inc. (Yahoo!), a policyholder seeking insurance coverage for Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) claims. The case came to the California Supreme Court as a certified question … Continue Reading

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
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