Archives: Contract Interpretation

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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

New Case on Consolidation in Reinsurance Arbitrations

It’s pretty clear in most jurisdictions that the question of whether disputes under multiple reinsurance contracts should be consolidated is a question for the arbitrators and not the court.  What’s less clear is how the parties get an arbitration panel in place to address the consolidation issue. A California federal court recently addressed this issue.… Continue Reading

Ramifications of Global Re v. Century Indemnity Evident in Second Circuit

In late 2017, the New York Court of Appeals, in Global Reinsurance Corp. of Am. v. Century Indemn. Co., 30 N.Y.3d 508 (2017), provided guidance to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals on how New York law interprets reinsurance contracts and, in particular, the stated limits in facultative certificates and whether those stated limits are … Continue Reading

June 2018 Reinsurance Newsletter

The Squire Patton Boggs June 2018 Reinsurance Newsletter is out.  You can access it here.  This quarter’s newsletter covers the Second Circuit’s remand of Global v. Century, an interesting Massachusetts case involving self-insured workers’ compensation programs and follow-on reinsurance, and a McCarran-Ferguson reverse preemption case.  Please enjoy.… Continue Reading

English Court of Appeal Rules on “Experience of Insurance and Reinsurance” Arbitrator Qualifications Includes Legal Experience

In Allianz Insurance PLC (formerly Cornhill Insurance PLC) v. Tonicastar Ltd,  [2018] EWCA Civ 434, the Court of Appeal held that the arbitral qualification of experience of insurance and reinsurance means experience as a lawyer working for the industry and does not mean only those who have worked for the industry qualify.… Continue Reading

The Bell Tolled — New York Court of Appeals Rules No Presumption on Facultative Liability Cap

An interesting trend has emerged from the New York Court of Appeals.  In several recent cases, parties have asked the court to declare that a bright line rule of construction or presumption arises in every case where an insurance or reinsurance contract has certain language.  The high court has rejected this call for a bright line … Continue Reading

Flood Reinsurance Triggered — So What Happens Next?

In an effort to stabilize the National Flood Insurance Program (“NFIP”), Congress passed several bills that allowed the NFIP to access the private reinsurance market. First piloted in 2016, in 2017 the program resulted in a broker-placed $1.042 billion cover with 25 private reinsurance markets.  The 2017 catastrophe excess-of-loss program provides coverage of 26% of … Continue Reading

Confidentiality Agreements in Reinsurance Arbitrations

Confidentiality agreements in reinsurance arbitrations are ubiquitous, but often cause concern when a subsequent arbitration arises over the same or similar contracts with the same or similar parties.  A question that has arisen with some frequency, but which has not been fully addressed in court, is whether the confidentiality agreement in the first arbitration precludes … Continue Reading

Bellefonte’s Influence Continues to Wane

As we all (or at least some of us) wait breathlessly for the New York Court of Appeals to answer the Second Circuit’s certified question in Global Reinsurance Corp. of Am. v. Century Indemn. Co., 843 F.3d 120 (2d Cir. 2016), which is now scheduled for argument on Wednesday, November 15, 2017 at 2:00 p.m., … Continue Reading

September 2017 Reinsurance Newsletter

Our September 2017 Reinsurance Newsletter includes a featured article on discovery of reserves and reinsurance information as well as an update on the US-EU Covered Agreement.  It also reports on recent cases, including a manifest disregard case, a case on Insurance Law 1213 security and reinsurance collection issues by the assignee of a liquidator.  Please … Continue Reading

Arbitration Award Clarification Confirmation

Generally, when an arbitration panel issues a final award the panel is “functus officio“; its powers expired and its duties relieved because it has finished its work and there’s no more to be done.  Sometimes, however, an arbitration panel will retain jurisdiction for a period of time after the final award is issued in case … Continue Reading

Proving a Reinsurance Contractual Relationship Exists

Litigating a reinsurance contract dispute is not much different than litigating any commercial contract dispute. The party seeking recovery under the contract has to prove that the contract exists. Proving the policy can be a big issue with claims asserted under old policies and reinsurance contracts. This certainly has been an issue with asbestos and other … Continue Reading

March 2017 Reinsurance Newsletter

This quarter’s Squire Patton Boggs Reinsurance Newsletter focuses on the certified question sent to the New York Court of Appeals by the Second Circuit on Bellefonte. It also features regulatory updates on the US-EU Covered Agreement as it affects reinsurance and on the new duty to pay insurance and reinsurance claims in the UK. Finally, … Continue Reading

Exculpatory Clauses in Reinsurance Agreements

Exculpatory clauses appear in many contracts. They are often used to protect a contracting party from damages caused by its actions or the actions of others. For example, a hold harmless clause may protect one party from third-party suits caused by the alleged negligence of the other party. Exculpatory clauses, like hold harmless or indemnification clauses, … Continue Reading
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