Duty to Indemnify

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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 … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

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

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 … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

Businesses Scramble to Assess Insurance Coverage for COVID-19

COVID-19 has sickened hundreds of thousands of people and resulted in the deaths of thousands. Millions will likely be affected. Up until very recently, there was widespread belief that some countries may be spared the level of disruption seen earlier this year. Recent events have shown this is no longer a reasonable assumption. The WHO … Continue Reading

The Facts Matter in Prospective Coverage Disputes Over COVID-19

There are two main questions in every insurance coverage dispute.  First, what are the actual facts that gave rise to the claim?  Second, what are the actual words contained in the specific insurance policy provisions relevant to the claim?  The facts and words matter because, more often than not, each claim and each policy has … Continue Reading

Failure to Allocate Between Covered and Non-covered Damages Bars Indemnity

Insureds often face lawsuits where the claimant is seeking a broad array damages some of which may be covered by insurance and some of which are not covered by insurance.  Because the duty to defend is very broad, insurance companies will typically defend under a reservation of rights concerning the allocation between covered and non-covered … Continue Reading

Privacy Exclusion Precludes Coverage for Claims of Breach of Driver’s Privacy Protection Act

As data privacy statutes proliferate, insurance coverage disputes are rising concerning whether liability policies cover the defense and indemnification of violations of data privacy statutes.  Many of these consumer data privacy statutes predate the mass electronic collection and storage of personally identifiable information.  The analysis is similar about whether there is coverage against lawsuits arising … Continue Reading

Breach of Fiduciary Duty and Negligent Misrepresentation Is Not Property Damage

To obtain coverage under a property insurance policy there has to be property damage caused by an occurrence during the policy period.  Seems simple, but as we have seen, sometimes the round peg just does not fit in the square hole.  In a recent case, the Ninth Circuit addressed whether allegations of breach of fiduciary … Continue Reading

It Is Tough to Avoid the Duty to Defend

Most states view the duty to defend more broadly than the duty to indemnify.  Some people call the duty to defend “litigation insurance” because it often applies even where the allegations are slim, conclusory and ultimately untrue.  A recent Fifth Circuit case reemphasizes how many courts address the duty to defend.… Continue Reading

When You Agree to Buy Out Partner Upon Death and Fail to Do So Don’t Expect Your Insurer to Defend You

A Directors and Officers (“D&O”) insurance policy provides coverage for a multitude of actions by corporate officers.  D&O policies, however, come with many exclusions to void coverage for intentional acts and other actions founded on contracts and other instruments.  Many corporate officers, especially in smaller companies, look to D&O policies to defend and indemnify them … Continue Reading

Misrepresentation Results in Loss of Coverage

One of the best ways for a policyholder to lose its insurance coverage is to conceal or misrepresent material facts and circumstances about the claim.  In a recent case, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment in favor of the insurance company dismissing a policyholder’s claims against its insurance carrier for not paying … Continue Reading

Court Finds No Insurance Coverage for TCPA Settlement

What happens when the Expected or Intended Exclusion and the Information Exclusion bump up against a policyholder’s suit for breach of contract, bad faith and improper denial of a claim based on an alleged TCPA violation?  You’ll have to visit our blog post on TCPAWorld.com to find out.  Suffice it to say that the insurance … Continue Reading

Binding Arbitration Award In Coverage Dispute Ends Later Coverage Litigation

Many insurance policies have binding arbitration clauses along with other provisions that address whether a lawsuit may be brought against the insurance company.  What happens when the arbitration goes against the policyholder?  Can the policyholder then sue the insurance company over the same coverage dispute even if the arbitrator ruled against the policyholder?… Continue Reading

Claims By Tort Claimants Against Municipal Insurer Over Coverage for Sexual Abuse Dismissed By Federal Court

Typically, a claimant has no direct right of action against an insurance company especially prior to a judgment against the insured.  Even more typically, a claimant has no right to “cut-through” to the reinsurers based on an alter ego or fronting claim when the claimant is not the insured and is not in contractual privity.  … Continue Reading

The (Rock) Finer Points of the Absolute Pollution Exclusion

The pollution exclusion has had a long history of being interpreted by the courts throughout the US.  Many substances have been held to come within the pollution exclusion, resulting in a bar of insurance coverage for costs sustained by policyholders addressing those substances in waterways and the air.  In a recent case, the Fifth Circuit … Continue Reading

No Coverage to Builder for Beetle-Infested Logs

Nearly all construction jobs require that the contractor purchase insurance.  Commercial general liability insurance (“CGL”) is often what is purchased.  CGL policies also typically have an exclusion for property damage to “your work.” In a recent case, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals addressed this exclusion in a case of damage caused by beetle-infested logs … Continue Reading

Lawyer Not Covered for Claim By Client to Recover Disputed Legal Fees

Did you hear the one about the lawyer and client fighting over paid legal fees?  When this happens lawyers often turn to their lawyers professional liability insurance policies for coverage.  In a recent case, under Connecticut law, the Second Circuit ruled against the lawyer and found no coverage.… Continue Reading

Appellate Court Grants Summary Judgment Obligating Coverage for Underlying Copyright Actions

In a recent cryptic coverage decision, a New York state intermediate appellate court reversed an order denying summary judgment to a media policyholder and held that the insurance companies were obligated to provide insurance coverage for underlying copyright infringement actions.  Although cryptic, the decision addresses exclusions and their applicability to media insurance policies.… Continue Reading

Security! Professional Services Exclusion Bars Coverage

In my experience, companies (and people) who buy insurance often do not understand what they bought.  Policyholders often confuse directors and officers insurance with professional liability insurance.  The assumption is that the purchase of insurance (often through a broker) should cover all of the policyholder’s risks.  Sadly, that is not the case.  In a recent … Continue Reading

Absolute Liquor Liability Exclusion Is Not Illusory

General liability policies sometimes contain exclusions that preclude coverage for losses that relate to the business insured.  Whether that renders the policy coverage illusory is a question for the courts.  In a recent case, the 11th Circuit addressed an Absolute Liquor Liability Exclusion involving a night club.… Continue Reading

Phishing and Fraudulent Instructions Under a Commercial Crime Policy

Warnings are plentiful about phishing schemes where a bad actor pretends to be an officer of a company and directs an employee to wire transfer funds to a foreign bank.  Despite these warnings, employees regularly fall for these phishing schemes and wire funds to off-shore accounts never to be seen again.  Companies that fall victim … Continue Reading
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