Specialty Lines

  • May 30, 2024

    Travelers Loses Dismissal Bid In BIPA Coverage Dispute

    A New York federal judge declined to trim a software company's lawsuit seeking coverage from a Travelers unit for underlying claims that the company violated the Illinois Biometric Privacy Act, finding the company's declaratory relief and bad faith claims were not duplicative of a breach of contract claim.

  • May 30, 2024

    Only $100K Owed For NJ Theater's Virus Losses, Judge Says

    A Zurich unit owed a theater only $100,000 for its COVID-19-related losses under its policy's communicable disease coverage provision, a New Jersey federal court ruled, rejecting the theater's arguments that each public health order constituted a separate occurrence and that a "blanket" $1.9 million limit was applicable.

  • May 30, 2024

    Insurance Litigation Week In Review

    The U.S. Supreme Court revived the National Rifle Association's free speech claims against a former New York state official, a Washington state appeals court ended Quest Diagnostics' bid for COVID-related coverage, and market analyst AM Best reported record investment income for U.S. property and casualty insurers in 2023.

  • May 30, 2024

    Active Hurricane Season Looms Over Insurance Industry

    The Atlantic hurricane season could continue to stress fragile insurance markets, according to forecasts of a particularly active 2024 season, but experts say there are some positive developments for Florida insurers despite years of elevated losses.

  • May 30, 2024

    Consumer Advocate Unpacks Big Issues Facing Insureds

    The use of socioeconomic factors in auto insurance, climate change's impact on the rising cost of homeowners insurance and the hollowing out of insurance policies are some of the most pressing issues consumers face today, says an advocate from the nonprofit Consumer Federation of America.

  • May 30, 2024

    Insurer Rebukes Bad Faith Claims In $25M Child Abuse Row

    An insurer urged a Washington federal court to dismiss bad faith counterclaims brought against it by families who say the insurer failed to provide coverage toward a daycare center's $24.5 million settlement of claims that its former employee sexually molested children.

  • May 30, 2024

    Insurance Atty Fights For Lone Woman On Death Row In Miss.

    Attorney A. Kate Margolis lives a double life: one, in which she fights on behalf of insurance policyholders as counsel at Bradley, and another, spent trying to save convicted murderer Lisa Jo Chamberlin, the only woman on Mississippi's death row.

  • May 30, 2024

    Bottler Says It's Owed Defense In Wine Contamination Dispute

    A wine bottler told a California federal court its insurer must reimburse defense costs it incurred while fighting a now-settled suit seeking to hold the company liable for a $1.2 million wine contamination, arguing the lawsuit didn't specifically allege what the bottler's actions were nor the cause of contamination.

  • May 30, 2024

    Meet The Attys In Margolis Edelstein Malpractice Fight

    Counsel representing Margolis Edelstein and an insurer that has accused the firm of malpractice are gearing up for a July oral argument so the Delaware Supreme Court can decide if the firm can escape the suit.

  • May 30, 2024

    Justices Revive NRA's Free Speech Claims Against NY Official

    The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the National Rifle Association can proceed with certain claims in its lawsuit alleging that a former New York state official violated the gun rights group's free speech protections by pressuring financial institutions to cut ties with it.

  • May 29, 2024

    Surety Seeks Over $2.75M In Prison Fencing Work Coverage

    A construction surety told a West Virginia federal court Wednesday that subcontractors for a prison fencing project must reimburse it for more than $2.75 million in losses it incurred while settling faulty work claims asserted by the project's general contractor.

  • May 29, 2024

    Nationwide Says Hyundai, Kia Owe $7.7M For Engine Claims

    Nearly a dozen Nationwide insurers told a California federal court Wednesday that Hyundai and Kia are on the hook for 829 engine failure and engine fire claims totaling over $7.7 million in damages resulting from alleged engine defects in certain 2011-2019 vehicle models.

  • May 28, 2024

    $10M Policy Excludes Tobacco Group's Suit, Court Told

    An insurer told a North Carolina federal court Tuesday that it doesn't owe coverage to a tobacco growers' cooperative saddled with paying out a $100 million settlement for farmers, arguing that its $10 million policy excludes contract claims.

  • May 28, 2024

    Frontier, Ex-CEO Settle $21.8M Life Insurance Benefits Feud

    Frontier Communications and Leonard Tow, its former CEO and the top executive of a predecessor, have privately settled a feud surrounding tens of millions in split-dollar life insurance policies, with both sides asking a Connecticut state court judge to withdraw a $21.8 million prejudgment remedy order issued last month.

  • May 28, 2024

    US Property Insurers See Record Investment Income In 2023

    U.S. property and casualty insurers earned a record income of $73.9 billion from their investments in 2023, market analyst AM Best reported Tuesday, a bright spot for an industry beset by underwriting losses connected to natural disasters and high inflation.

  • May 28, 2024

    OpenText Says Excess Insurer Can't Join Merger Spat

    OpenText urged a Michigan federal court to keep an excess insurer out of a coverage dispute stemming from an underlying class action over the software company's merger with Covisint, arguing that the insurer's reasons behind wanting to intervene are speculative and unripe.

  • May 23, 2024

    Calif. High Court Deals Loss To Policyholder In COVID-19 Suit

    The California Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the coronavirus generally doesn't cause the kind of damage to property that would trigger coverage under an insurance policy, handing a win to a Chubb insurance company in one of the last major venues for pandemic coverage litigation.

  • May 23, 2024

    Colo. AI Bias Law Brings Little Certainty For Insurance Sector

    Colorado enacted the nation's first comprehensive regulatory scheme for protecting consumers from discriminatory and biased artificial intelligence systems, sending a warning signal to an insurance sector bracing for increased scrutiny and risks related to the technology.

  • May 23, 2024

    How An Ex-Attorney Turned Mediator Approaches Conflict

    Drawing from his 25-year career as an attorney litigating primarily insurance coverage disputes, Steven Schulwolf founded Schulwolf Mediation to help parties reach effective resolutions in even the toughest cases.

  • May 23, 2024

    Insurance Litigation Week In Review

    Policyholders suffered losses over COVID-19 coverage claims before the California Supreme Court and Fourth Circuit, the California high court weighed whether an exclusion rendered virus coverage illusory and if a policyholder's unfair competition claim against State Farm was untimely, and the Tenth Circuit questioned the scope of absolute pollution exclusions.

  • May 23, 2024

    2nd Circ. Revives Insurer's $2.5M Suit Over Valuation Software

    The Second Circuit on Thursday revived an insurer's indemnification bid against software company Audatex for $2.5 million in costs from a suit alleging its use of Audatex's valuation software resulted in underpayment for totaled cars, concluding the lower court erred in finding the suit didn't result from the insurer's use of Audatex's software.

  • May 23, 2024

    NC High Court Grants Review In Clothier's Virus Coverage Suit

    North Carolina's top court on Thursday agreed to take up a clothing company's coverage appeal for COVID-19 losses against Zurich after a lower appellate panel found the virus did not cause the kind of physical loss or damage necessary to invoke coverage.

  • May 23, 2024

    Antitrust Concerns Persist For New UN Insurance Group

    A new United Nations insurance-climate initiative demonstrates a continued interest among regulators for promoting a more sustainable industry, but experts say antitrust concerns and industry participation raise questions about its potential efficacy.

  • May 23, 2024

    4th Circ. Rules No Coverage For Mars' COVID Losses

    Candymaker Mars Inc. can't get coverage from Factory Mutual Insurance Co. for its COVID-19-related losses, the Fourth Circuit ruled Thursday, further rejecting Mars' bid to certify a question to the Virginia Supreme Court.

  • May 23, 2024

    Ark. Judge Sides With Insurer's Cyber Policy Interpretation

    An Arkansas federal judge ruled an insurer correctly evaluated a telemarketing company's losses from a cyberattack, agreeing that "normal operating expenses" the company paid from revenue during that period aren't included in the loss and that any other interpretation would give the company a windfall.

Expert Analysis

  • Deal Over Jets Stranded In Russia May Serve As Blueprint

    Author Photo

    In the face of a pending "mega-trial" over leased airplanes held in Russia after its invasion of Ukraine, a settlement between leading aviation lessor AerCap Holdings NV and NSK, the Russian state-controlled insurance company, could pave the way for similar deals, say Samantha Zaozirny and Timeyin Pinnick at Browne Jacobson.

  • How Shareholder Activists Are Targeting Insurers

    Author Photo

    As shareholder activists take a closer look at the insurance industry, they are pushing insurers to take value-enhancing and climate-related measures — but insurers can prepare by anticipating activist concerns, maintaining robust shareholder engagement, and considering changes in response to the universal proxy rules, say attorneys at Debevoise.

  • Unlocking Value In Carve-Out M&A Transactions

    Author Photo

    Some of the largest mergers and acquisitions in 2023 were carve-out transactions, and despite their unique intricacies and challenges, these transactions offer both buyers and sellers the opportunity to generate outsized returns in an otherwise vigorously competitive landscape, when carefully planned and diligently executed, say Kevin Crews and Rami Totari at Kirkland.

  • Tips For Negotiating Strong D&O Insurance Protection

    Excerpt from Practical Guidance
    Author Photo

    D&O insurance is often the last line of defense for the personal assets of a director or officer, so taking the time to negotiate improvements to their D&O policies and ensuring that the coverage is appropriate for the insureds' risk profile can greatly improve the chances that their policies will protect them when they need coverage the most, says Thomas Bentz at Holland & Knight.

  • Insurers Should Prepare For 'Black Swan' Climate Disasters

    Author Photo

    As rapid climate change results in increased risk of casualties and property loss from rare, severe weather events, the insurance industry should take five crucial steps toward evolving and continuing operations, including advanced analytic techniques and investments in alternative energy sources, say Stephen Brown and Irena Maier at Wilson Elser.

  • 3 Quirks Of New Jersey Insurance Coverage Law

    Author Photo

    There are a multitude of state-specific requirements and nuances that make New Jersey insurance law unique, including in the areas of duty to defend, reservation of rights and bad faith, say attorneys at Goldberg Segalla.

  • How Del. 'Arising Out Of' Ruling May Affect Insurance Cases

    Author Photo

    The Delaware Supreme Court decision in Ace American Insurance v. Guaranteed Rate focused on a professional services exclusion, but the ruling has wide-ranging application in insurance coverage disputes involving any exclusions that employ "arising out of" or similar prefatory language, say Keith McKenna and Maria Brinkmann at Cohen Ziffer.

  • Assessing D&O Coverage Amid Challenges To DEI Policies

    Author Photo

    As the recent backlash against corporate diversity, equity and inclusion policies leads to shareholder litigation and other legal challenges, companies bolstering their DEI efforts should ensure that their directors and officers and employment practices' liability insurance policies provide sufficient coverage for potential claims, say Peter Gillon and Patrick Blood at Pillsbury.

  • Potential Relief For Nevada Insureds Is On The Horizon

    Author Photo

    A proposed regulation recently issued by the Nevada Division of Insurance would severely restrict the state's new law prohibiting burning-limits policies, enacting welcome changes to address businesses' concerns that the law will make it harder to obtain cost-effective liability insurance, says Sheri Thome at Wilson Elser.

  • How Reps And Warranties Insurance Can Aid Sellers In M&A

    Author Photo

    Amid the current slowdown in the M&A climate, representation and warranty insurance offers sellers a number of advantages, including protection against fraud and possible leverage to insist on a no-seller-indemnity deal, say Alex Leibowitz and Eric Jesse at Lowenstein Sandler.

  • 1st Circ. Harvard Ruling Provides Primer On Policy Provisions

    Author Photo

    In its recent finding of no coverage for Harvard due to the school's failure to give Zurich American Insurance timely notice of its claim, the First Circuit provides a good analysis of the distinctions between occurrence and claims-made policies, including the rationale for differences in notice provisions, says Andrew Paliotta at Cozen O'Connor.

  • Nev. Insurance Law May Mean Turmoil In Liability Market

    Author Photo

    Nevada's new law prohibiting insurers from issuing or renewing defense-within-limits liability policies in the state could cause professional liability insurers to withdraw certain products or prohibitively increase premiums — and while an emergency regulation allows for exceptions, the situation remains fluid, says Joshua Leach at Atheria Law.

  • SEC's New Rules Likely Will Affect Cyber, D&O Insurance

    Author Photo

    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission recently adopted cybersecurity incident disclosure rules that could create new challenges that affect how public companies assess the risk of securities, corporate governance and cyber-related lawsuits, which may implicate novel insurance coverage issues, say attorneys at Reed Smith.