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Aggregating Losses From the COVID-19 Crisis for Reinsurance Purposes

The question of whether hundreds or even thousands of COVID-19-related losses can be aggregated together as one “loss” or “occurrence” for reinsurance purposes is one that both ceding companies and reinsurers are pondering.  Expressly putting aside whether COVID-19-related business interruption losses are covered by underlying insurance policies (see our other blog posts), this post discusses … Continue Reading

New York Federal Court Compels Arbitration in Life Reinsurance Dispute Over Trust Assets

Where two or more agreements are involved in a transaction, a dispute over one of the agreements often raises arbitrability questions.  This is especially true where a reinsurance agreement with an arbitration clause is paired with a trust agreement with no arbitration clause.  In a recent life reinsurance case, a New York federal court addressed … Continue Reading

COVID-19 Losses from a Reinsurer’s Perspective

This blog post provides some thoughts on addressing COVID-19 losses from the reinsurer’s perspective.  A reinsurer does not issue the underlying policies and does not handle the underlying claims.  A reinsurer relies upon its reinsured to adjust claims within the terms and conditions of the reinsured policies and the reinsurance contract.  Just like the ceding … Continue Reading

COVID-19 Losses From a Reinsured’s Perspective

This blog post provides some thoughts on addressing COVID-19 losses from the perspective of the reinsurance buyer: the reinsured or cedent.  A cedent has two main considerations when faced with a loss:  (1) is the loss a covered loss under the cedent’s insurance policies? and, (2) if the loss is a covered loss, is it … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Reverses Judgment for Cedent and Finds Reinsurer Not Liable for Asbestos Losses

In a significant reversal of a judgment for a cedent after a jury verdict, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals has held in favor of the reinsurer in an important follow-the-settlements case.  The court agreed with the reinsurer that, as a matter of law, it was not obligated to the cedent because the losses did … Continue Reading

Final Arbitration Award Including Attorney Fees Confirmed

Awards of attorney fees are few and far between in reinsurance arbitrations, but they happen.  When they happen, the losing side sometimes seeks to vacate the award based on the arbitrators exceeding their powers in awarding attorney fees.  In a recent case, the court had to decide whether to confirm or vacate an award with … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

Reverse Preemption Is Alive and Well in Washington State

Most reinsurance contracts have binding arbitration provisions.  The Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) sets out a national policy in favor of arbitration.  Yet, there are states that expressly preclude arbitration provisions in insurance contracts.  Does that apply to reinsurance contracts?… Continue Reading

Facultative Certificate’s Stated Dollar Amount Only Caps Indemnity or Expenses When No Losses, But Does Not Cap Expenses When There Are Losses

This week, the latest shoe dropped on the Bellefonte saga in New York federal court.  Following the New York Court of Appeals’ decision in Global Reinsurance Corp. of America v. Century Indemnity Co., 30 N.Y.3d 508 (2017), which disposed of any notion that a rule or strong presumption existed in interpreting the meaning of the … Continue Reading

Who Decides Whether a Reinsurer Is a Run-off Reinsurer?

In the past 10 years or so, several ceding companies began adding run-off reinsurer clauses to their reinsurance contracts to mitigate disputes that might arise with reinsurers no longer actively in business.  In a recent case, a Georgia federal court had to address whether it or an arbitration panel should determine whether the reinsurer was, … Continue Reading

March 2020 Reinsurance Newsletter

The Squire Patton Boggs Reinsurance Newsletter has been published.  The March 2020 Newsletter includes a discussion of a Third Circuit consolidation issue, reinsurance cases resulting from the recent hurricanes in Puerto Rico, an intervention case in the life reinsurance world, and, of course, our annual A Brief Review of Reinsurance Trends section covering the important … Continue Reading

Who Demands Arbitration Is Key to Whether Arbitration Will Be Compelled

Complex corporate structures and internal reinsurance relationships can complicate legacy reinsurance relationships.  This is especially true where the underlying losses are long-tail liabilities and where companies have changed, merged, combined and succeeded each other.  A key question for any legacy reinsurance treaty is whether the losses now being ceded come within the scope of the … 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

Who Decides Consolidation Issue? A New Arbitration Panel or the Old One?

It is pretty well settled under modern arbitration law, including reinsurance arbitrations, that procedural issues like consolidation are questions for the arbitrators and not the courts.  But what happens if there are multiple arbitration panels?  Which panel decides the consolidation application?  And what if one arbitration has been completed and a motion to consolidate is … Continue Reading

Liquidator Compelled to Arbitrate Hurricane Reinsurance Disputes

The federal policy favoring arbitration sometimes bumps up against state-based receivers where the receiver would rather the receivership court address reinsurance disputes than have the matter arbitrated.  In the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, which devastated Puerto Rico, reinsurance disputes arose over a cedent’s allocation between the hurricanes and other aspects of the many … Continue Reading

Post-Trial Motions Denied in Hard-Fought Reinsurance Dispute

Reinsurance disputes are rarely tried to a jury.  They are typically arbitrated.  When they are tried to a jury–just like any jury trial–there are often post-trial motions made to seek to overturn the jury verdict or modify the judgment.  Motions like that are difficult to win, especially when key facts are left to the jury to … Continue Reading

Unique Arbitration Clause Does Not Prevent Granting of Motion to Compel Arbitration

Whether a motion to compel arbitration will be granted depends on, among other things, whether the arbitration provision is broad or narrow and whether the dispute falls within the scope of the arbitration provision.  In a recent case, a California federal court construed unique language in an arbitration provision in a reinsurance agreement, granted the … Continue Reading

Reinsurance and the Death Master File

In a traditional life insurance and reinsurance relationship, a life insurance company issues a policy to a policyholder and reinsures the policy (usually via a block of business consisting of the same or similar policies) with its reinsurer either by coinsurance or on a yearly renewable term basis (or otherwise).  When the insured person dies, … Continue Reading

How Does the Latest US Supreme Court Ruling on Class Arbitration Affect Reinsurance Arbitration?

The US Supreme Court’s pronouncements on class arbitration have little to do with reinsurance arbitrations.  But, when the Supreme Court speaks on arbitrations and construes the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”), there may be statements or even holdings by the court that could affect aspects of reinsurance arbitrations, so we pay attention.  In the most recent … Continue Reading

How Courts Select Umpires Where The Reinsurance Contract Gives Courts the Power

Some reinsurance contracts have a provision in the arbitration clause that allow the parties to ask a court to appoint the umpire if the parties cannot agree on the selection of one.  A court’s analysis of the candidates and whether they are qualified or should be disqualified from consideration as an umpire is always interesting … Continue Reading

The Consolidation Circus Continues

In December 2018, we blogged about a new reinsurance arbitration consolidation case.  We mentioned that the reinsurer filed several other petitions to compel arbitration in various jurisdictions all seeking to allow for consolidation of these disputes in three arbitrations  based on the different reinsurance programs.  The facts are the same so read the December 2018 post … Continue Reading

March 2019 Reinsurance Newsletter

Our March 2019 Reinsurance Newsletter is available for your reading pleasure.  It covers reinsurance developments since December 2018 and also includes regulatory and policy updates as well as our annual Brief Review of Reinsurance Trends.  Please enjoy.  You can access the Newsletter here.… Continue Reading

LPTs and Existing Reinsurance Relationships

Insurers have been using loss portfolio transfers (“LPTs”) for decades for a host of reasons.  An LPT is a great way to move a legacy book of business off the balance sheet.  What is often forgotten is the interplay between the LPT and existing reinsurance contracts.  This is especially so when the LPT is more retrocessional … Continue Reading
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