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Violation of Statute Exclusion Bars Coverage Under Umbrella Policy

Many general liability polices contain an exclusion for violations of certain statutes involving the sending or communicating of information like the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”).  The question a federal court in North Dakota faced was whether debt collection practices came within the statutory violation exclusion.… Continue Reading

Pre-Answer Security In New York Is No Joke

New York, among several other states, protects its citizen policyholders in disputes with unauthorized foreign or alien insurance companies by requiring the insurance company to deposit security or obtain a licence to do an insurance business in the state before it can file any pleadings in an proceedings brought against it in New York.  This … Continue Reading

The Top 10 InReDisputesBlog Posts for 2019

Below are the top 10 blog posts from our Insurance & Reinsurance Disputes Blog for 2019.  These are the ones our readers viewed the most last year on our blog. The compilation is diverse as is the topic of insurance and reinsurance disputes.  Please enjoy this stroll down memory lane.  If you like these and … Continue Reading

It’s Always a Good Idea to Read Your Insurance Policy

Among the basic rules of insurance are these two:  (a) always read your policy and (b) courts will construe clear and unambiguous insurance policy language by giving it its ordinary and plain meaning. This is the lesson that a policyholder learned after filing a claim for windstorm damage to his roof.  The question was whether … 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

Policyholder’s Attempt to Third-Party Reinsurers Denied

When a policyholder faces litigation from its insurance company over a claim submitted by the policyholder, the policyholder often will defend by alleging that the insurance company has breached the insurance contract and has wrongfully failed to pay the claim.  Sometimes, however, a policyholder will try to blame the insurance company’s refusal to pay a … Continue Reading

Policyholder Denied Discovery Into Handling of Other Insureds’ Superstorm Sandy Losses

Superstorm Sandy was a complicated loss because of its unique nature and the controversy over when it was a hurricane and whether damage caused by it was while it was a hurricane.  Many property policies have sublimits and deductibles specific to hurricanes or “named storms” or for flood losses.  How these sublimits or deductibles apply … Continue Reading

Life Reinsurer Gets Its Wish to Intervene

Life insurance policies issued in the past are often transferred in blocks to reinsurers on a 100% indemnity reinsurance basis.  These transfers often include servicing agreements, where the assuming reinsurer takes responsibility for all policy services, including determining the cost-of-insurance.  In the past several years, policyholders have brought putative class actions against life insurance companies … 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

Eleventh Circuit Finds Duty to Defend Sufficient to Rebuff Claim of Illusory Auto Insurance Coverage

Some people who lease cars apply for car insurance with lower limits for themselves and higher limits to cover the leasing company’s requirements.  This is accomplished through a Lessor Liability Endorsement.  In a recent case, a putative class action was brought against insurance companies by lessees who sought damages alleging that the coverage provided was … 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

Eleventh Circuit Holds That Face Value of Policies Establishes the Amount-In-Controversy for Equitable Claims

The life insurance industry has seen a significant number of class actions brought against it for allegedly wrongful conduct in increasing the cost of insurance (“COI”) component of the policy premium.  In many of these cases, the life insurance company will remove a state case to federal court under the Class Action Fairness Act (“CAFA”).  … Continue Reading

New York Court of Appeals Clarifies No Private Right of Action Against Insurers Who Report Possible Professional Misconduct

Insurance fraud is a big deal and costs all of us plenty in the way of increased insurance premiums.  When automobile liability insurers see claims where they question whether the medical provider is acting appropriately, they may choose to report their findings to the state medical disciplinary authority.  If the disciplinary authority declines to impose … Continue Reading

Strict Conditions Doom Flood Insurance Claim

The National Flood Insurance Program has been controversial to say the least.  Part of the program allows commercial insurance companies to act as agents for the federal government in producing Standard Flood Insurance policies and managing claims under a write your own program (“WYO”).  The program, under its enabling law, the National Flood Insurance Act, … Continue Reading

Foundations, Basement Walls and Collapse — Connecticut Supreme Court Rules Against Coverage

Homeowners in Connecticut (and other states) have had issues with crumbling foundations and basement walls of their homes due to defective concrete manufactured by a specific supplier.  They have turned to their homeowners insurance policies for coverage and coverage has been denied.  Multiple lawsuits have been brought.  In a series of recent cases, the Connecticut … Continue Reading

Late Notice and Timely Disclaimer Sink Claim to Recover Judgment From Insurers

Under New York law (and the law of other jurisdictions), an unsatisfied judgment against an insured may be the subject of an action to recover the judgment against the insurance company.   Sounds simple, but the claimant, standing in the shoes of the policyholder, will be subject to all the defenses the insurance company can bring … Continue Reading

Appraisal Award Ends Property Damage Dispute

Property insurance policies contain provisions to resolve disputes between the policyholder and the insurer over damage claims.  These provisions provide for an independent appraisal of the alleged damaged property with the appraiser’s final award binding the parties.  An appraisal award is akin to an arbitration award in many respects.  In a recent case, a policyholder … Continue Reading

Outside Business Exclusion Precludes Coverage Under a Professional Liability Policy

Professional liability and other errors and omissions policies are purchased to protect the insured from claims brought against the insured by third-parties alleging breaches of professional duties and other failures to perform professional or other services appropriately.  Stated another way a professional liability policy issued to a law firm protects the law firm and its … Continue Reading
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