A Split Eighth Circuit Affirms Insurer Had a Duty to Defend County Against a 1983 Case

Woman holding a shield

Liability insurance policies, especially directors and officers and other types of errors and omissions policies, often have provisions that deem related acts to constitute one wrongful act.  How that provision applies is fact specific, but its application can make a difference in determining which insurance policy must defend an underlying claim.  In a recent case, the Eighth Circuit split over whether an insurer had a duty to defend a county in an underlying 1983 action.

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No Coverage Under Directors and Officers Policy For TCPA Law Suit Settlement

Companies that bring marketing campaigns using unsolicited faxes tend to end up in putative class actions under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”).  Many companies use vendors to design and implement those campaigns.  Those vendors are not always named in the TCPA action.  What happens when the TCPA action settles and the vendor contributed to the settlement, can the vendor obtain insurance coverage for the TCPA case?

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Final Award Confirmed Over Interim Final Award in Reinsurance Dispute

Danger Sign

Reinsurance arbitration panels, when asked, sometimes issue interim awards that address merits issues.  Often this happens when the parties need clarity on how to calculate a reinsurance billing.  The panel’s interim award may resolve certain issues and suggest that the parties meet and confer to see if they can now resolve the dispute, but if not, return to the panel either for additional briefing or additional proceedings to resolve the dispute.  What happens when one party likes the interim award and moves to confirm, but the other party likes the final award and moves to confirm that?  An Illinois federal court recently addressed this conundrum.

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Can Fear or Emotional Distress Associated With COVID-19 Be a “Bodily Injury”?

With the United States now having the highest number of confirmed infections in the world, the nation now finds itself in the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this blog post, we continue to explore potential COVID-19 insurance coverage issues, this time focusing on whether fear of contracting COVID-19 alone or emotional damages caused by a change of employment may constitute a “bodily injury” under insurance policies. Additionally, we examine related issues of “emotional distress” from fear of contracting a virus and claims for medical monitoring of a potential condition to see whether mental injuries prompted by COVID-19 may be considered cognizable injuries under tort law.

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No Coverage for Insured’s TCPA Defense Says Pennsylvania Federal Court

Insurance policy on a desk

Policyholders will look to their insurers when they are sued for unsolicited faxing under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”).  Do they have insurance coverage?  That depends on the policy, but TCPA coverage is hard to come by.  That doesn’t stop policyholders from trying.  In a recent case, a Pennsylvania federal court put an end to the policyholder’s dream of coverage.

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COVID-19 Coverage Litigation Escalates

As the COVID-19 pandemic brings about more shutdown orders, non-essential businesses that have been shut because of government orders are fighting to obtain insurance coverage.  The first four cases brought were declaratory judgment actions seeing orders that their policies covered the suspension of their businesses.  The latest case, however, goes a two steps further and includes breach of contract and statutory bad faith claims.

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Whether a Partial or Complete Cessation of Business Is Required for BI Coverage – COVID-19

With the COVID-19 pandemic showing few signs of slowing down in the immediate future, reality is starting to settle in on businesses and governments. As Congress and various state legislatures continue to discuss legislation aimed at remedying the economic damage caused by the pandemic, many businesses are grappling with extensive interruptions to their operations. In this blog post, we continue to explore the issues related to potential business interruption coverage for COVID-19, this time focusing on whether coverage requires the total cessation or disruption of business, or whether a partial cessation or disruption may suffice.

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Actual Cash Value: Is the Cost of Labor Part of Depreciation? The Courts Are Divided

new roof installation

Depreciation typically is deducted from the actual cash value (“ACV”) of property when the insured elects to have its property damage claim paid on an ACV basis.  No one doubts that depreciation includes the cost of materials.  The question is, however, whether the cost of labor can be depreciated as well.  In a few recent cases, two courts in different jurisdictions reached different results.

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Some Preliminary Thoughts on Reinsurance Issues and COVID-19

All the talk about whether insurance policies will respond to COVID-19 losses causes me to think about how reinsurers will respond to COVID-19 losses if they are ceded.  There are lots of considerations, including whether the cedent’s loss payments were made on an ex gratia basis, whether civil authority orders change the dynamic, what lines of business are being affected, whether reinsurance contracts allow for aggregation of COVID-19 losses as a single occurrence and whether the reinsurer has too much COVID-19 concentration.  This blog post will start the discussion about some of these issues from the property and casualty prospective.

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COVID-19 and Waiting Periods Under Business Interruption Coverage

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, businesses and governments are acting to flatten the curve.  Recently, California, the largest state by population, implemented an extensive quarantine statewide, affecting over 40 million people.  New York and other states and municipalities also have issued similar closure orders.  In this blog post, we continue to examine the issues surrounding civil authority orders in the context of potential insurance coverage for COVID-19, this time focusing on a “waiting period” prior to coverage.
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