General Liability

  • May 16, 2024

    R&W Insurers' Claims Handling A 'Big Differentiator,' Aon Says

    As competition in the market for representations and warranties insurance heats up, carriers' claims processes are becoming "one of the biggest differentiators" for securing repeat business, Aon said in its latest R&W claims report Thursday, finding that claim frequency has hovered near the 18% mark for so-called off-risk policies. 

  • May 16, 2024

    Oversight Hearing Adds Pressure On Calif. Insurance Chief

    Under growing pressure from Gov. Gavin Newsom and the insurance industry, California’s top insurance regulator defended its process of implementing proposals to stabilize the Golden State’s faltering homeowners insurance market.

  • May 16, 2024

    Insurance Litigation Week In Review

    An Arizona judge issued an apparently novel ruling over a foreign discovery statute's applicability to a Canadian arbitration, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to take up a $3.5 billion underwriting surplus class action and policyholders accused UnitedHealth of covering up a U.S. Department of Justice antitrust investigation.

  • May 16, 2024

    Apt. Complex Must Face Insurer's Mold Death Coverage Suit

    A Georgia federal judge has refused to toss an insurer's suit seeking to evade coverage of an apartment complex accused of failing to stop a mold infestation that killed a tenant, finding the insurer has plausibly alleged it does not have a duty to defend under the prevailing insurance policy.

  • May 15, 2024

    Insurer Says Security Co. Not Covered For Nightclub Injuries

    A security services company is not owed coverage for three underlying personal injury lawsuits stemming from multiple shooting and stabbing incidents at a Florida gentlemen's club, an insurer told a New York federal court, stating its policies exclude coverage for injuries sustained at clubs and assault.

  • May 15, 2024

    Colo. Law Firm Settles Bad Faith Suit Against Insurer

    A personal injury firm has notified a Colorado federal court it has reached an agreement with its insurer in a coverage dispute over litigation costs from another suit against a former attorney accused of trying to lure away the firm's class action department after her departure.

  • May 15, 2024

    Insurer Wants Payback For Covering Theater Group Theft

    An insurance company has asked a Connecticut federal court to force a married couple to pay for coverage it granted a theater education group that it says was bilked out of nearly $588,000 by the pair via personal use of the nonprofit's funds.

  • May 15, 2024

    No Coverage For Day Care In Toddler Death Suits, Judge Says

    A Progressive unit has no duty to defend or indemnify a now-defunct day care and its former owner in two suits over the death of a toddler who was left in a hot car, a Tennessee federal court has ruled, saying the vehicle involved wasn't covered under the day care's policy.

  • May 14, 2024

    Insurer Wants Tainted Wine Coverage Suit Axed For Good

    A Nationwide unit asked a California federal court to permanently toss a wine bottling company's suit seeking reimbursement for costs incurred in defending and settling an underlying suit claiming the bottler damaged nearly $1.2 million of wine, saying the company failed to allege facts that would trigger coverage.

  • May 13, 2024

    Assault Exclusion Dooms Restaurant's Coverage For Murder

    An insurer doesn't have to indemnify a Detroit restaurant accused of contributing to the 2019 shooting death of a potential patron by failing to provide adequate security, the Sixth Circuit said.

  • May 13, 2024

    Justices Decline To Hear $3.5B Insurance Surplus Case

    A proposed class action accusing an insurer of failing to return an over $3.5 billion surplus of underwriting profits back to policyholder members will be litigated in Illinois state court, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday, denying the company's bid for certiorari.

  • May 13, 2024

    Justices Won't Touch Insurer's Win In 401(k) Exit Fee Suit

    The U.S. Supreme Court declined Monday to hear a dental office's case accusing an insurance company of unlawfully charging fees to 401(k) plans that left its platform, leaving in place a Fifth Circuit ruling that found the insurer was under no obligation to waive the charges.

  • May 10, 2024

    Ariz. Judge Allows Insurer To Target DOT For Canadian Arb.

    An Arizona federal judge has issued an apparently novel ruling granting a Canadian government-backed insurer's request to subpoena the state's Department of Transportation for use in an arbitration stemming from a hit-and-run accident that took place in Scottsdale, Arizona, in 2016.

  • May 10, 2024

    Insurers Don't Owe Chiquita Coverage In Terrorism Settlement

    An Ohio state appeals court ruled Friday that Chiquita Brands International Inc. is not owed coverage by a group of insurers for a settlement with families of six Americans killed by a terrorist group Chiquita had paid for protection, saying any errors the trial court made were harmless because it came to the correct conclusion.

  • May 10, 2024

    4th Circ. Tosses Driver's Allstate UIM Appeal As Untimely

    The Fourth Circuit dismissed a South Carolina woman's appeal seeking underinsured motorist coverage from Allstate for injuries she suffered in a car accident, finding Friday that the appellate court lacked jurisdiction over the issue because outstanding, competing claims in the action remained.

  • May 10, 2024

    Medical Device Co., Insurers Settle Equipment Damage Loss

    A medical device manufacturer and its insurers have settled their coverage dispute over the manufacturer's claim it suffered an "equipment breakdown loss" damaging its mills, lathes and vacuum pump, the insurers told a Florida federal court.

  • May 09, 2024

    10th Circ. Appeal May Expand Pollution Coverage In NM

    The Tenth Circuit will hear oral arguments May 20 to determine whether absolute pollution exclusions doom a New Mexico property owner's quest for $120,000 in defense coverage in a case attorneys say could determine the future of such environmental coverage in the state.

  • May 09, 2024

    REIT Says Insurers Must Cover Antitrust Conspiracy Claims

    A real estate investment trust accused its insurers of wrongfully denying coverage for an underlying multidistrict litigation alleging that the company was part of an antitrust conspiracy to inflate rents for multifamily housing, telling a Colorado federal court that the MDL falls plainly within multiple coverage parts of its policies.

  • May 09, 2024

    Syracuse Diocese Creditors Urge Contempt On Insurer Leaks

    Unsecured creditors of the bankrupt Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse have asked a New York judge to hold insurers Interstate and an affiliate of Allianz in contempt for sharing confidential sex abuse survivors' claim information with third parties and failing to inform the debtor or the court.

  • May 09, 2024

    Md. Insurance Chief On Keeping Up With AI Regulation

    The insurance industry is exploring artificial intelligence technology use in its business as regulators like Maryland Insurance Commissioner Kathleen Birrane work to keep up and protect consumers from the risks of the evolving technology. Here, Law360 checks in with Birrane on the subject.

  • May 09, 2024

    DEA Cannabis Proposal Likely To Keep Insurers Sidelined

    Federal drug enforcers' recent proposal to remove cannabis' designation as a high-risk drug with no accepted medical use could portend insurance benefits, but experts say uncertainties over the drug's mixed legal status will keep insurers sidelined for now.

  • May 09, 2024

    Insurer Still Can't Escape Explosion Coverage Row

    An insurer cannot yet avoid defending gas companies in personal injury litigation after a subcontractor caused an explosion injuring three people, an Indiana federal court has ruled, reiterating a previous finding that the subcontractor's ultimate release from liability following a settlement has no bearing on the gas companies' additional insured status.

  • May 09, 2024

    Insurance Litigation Week In Review

    Michigan's top court mulled the effect of new liability coverage mandates on older auto policies, a group of insurers escaped arbitration in an airport terminal defect dispute, and South Carolina drivers were granted class certification in a suit over Progressive's total loss vehicle valuation methods.

  • May 09, 2024

    A Mother's Fight To Secure Insurance Benefits For Autism

    After Lorri Unumb's son was diagnosed with autism, she spent over a decade drafting and securing legislative mandates for autism insurance benefits across the country. With Mother's Day on May 12, Law360 spoke with Unumb about how for her, motherhood included a calling to advocate for autism therapy coverage.

  • May 08, 2024

    Chevron's $52M Iran Oil Seizure Loss Not Covered, Court Told

    Three insurers have told a California federal court they owe no coverage to Chevron under separate marine cargo and war risks policies after the oil giant said the Iranian military seized a vessel carrying nearly $52 million worth of Chevron's crude oil in retaliation for U.S. economic sanctions.

Expert Analysis

  • Sorting Circuit Split On Foreign Arbitration Treaty's Authority

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    A circuit court split over whether the New York Convention supersedes state law barring arbitration in certain disputes — a frequent issue in insurance matters — has left lower courts to rely on conflicting decisions, but the doctrine of self-executing treaties makes it clear that the convention overrules state law, says Gary Shaw at Pillsbury.

  • What New Conn. Insurance Bulletin Means For Data And AI

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    A recent bulletin from the Connecticut Insurance Department concerning insurers' usage of artificial intelligence systems appears consistent with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners' gradual shift away from focusing on big data, and may potentially protect insurers from looming state requirements despite a burdensome framework, say attorneys at Day Pitney. 

  • The Future Of BIPA Insurance Litigation After Visual Pak

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    A recent Illinois appellate court decision, National Fire Insurance v. Visual Pak, may have altered the future of insurance litigation under the state's Biometric Information Privacy Act by diametrically opposing a prominent Seventh Circuit ruling that found insurance coverage for violations of the act, say attorneys at Jenner & Block.

  • Policy Misrepresentations Carry Insurance Rescission Risks

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    The Second Circuit's recent decision in Medical Mutual v. Gnik, finding that material misrepresentation in a clinic's insurance applications warranted policy rescission, is a clear example of the far-reaching effects that misrepresentations can have and provides a reminder that policyholders should employ relatively straightforward steps to decrease risks, say attorneys at Hunton.

  • 2nd Circ. Ruling Clarifies When Demand Letters Are Claims

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    The Second Circuit’s decision last week in Pine Management v. Colony Insurance, affirming that an insurer had no obligation to defend an insured for claims made before the policy period, provides clarity on when presuit demands for relief constitute claims — an important issue that may be dispositive of coverage, says Bonnie Thompson at Lavin Rindner.

  • SC Ruling Reinforces All Sums Coverage Trend

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    A South Carolina state court's recent ruling in Covil v. Pennsylvania National is the latest in a series of decisions, dating back to the 2016 New York Court of Appeals ruling in Viking Pump, that reject insurers' pro rata allocation argument, further supporting that all sums coverage is required whenever a loss could be covered under a policy in any other year, say Raymond Mascia and Thomas Dupont at Anderson Kill.

  • Del. Supreme Court Insurance Ruling Aids In Defining 'Claim'

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    The recent Delaware Supreme Court decision in Zurich v. Syngenta, finding that a presuit letter did not constitute a claim for insurance purposes, sets out a three-factor test to help policyholders distinguish when a demand rises to the level of a claim, says Lara Langeneckert at Barnes & Thornburg.

  • Class Actions At The Circuit Courts: March Lessons

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    In this month's review of class action appeals, Mitchell Engel at Shook Hardy discusses four notable circuit court decisions on topics from consumer fraud to employment — and provides key takeaways for counsel on issues including coercive communications with putative class members and Article III standing at the class certification stage.

  • High Court Should Maintain Insurer Neutrality In Bankruptcy

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    While a recent Law360 guest article argues that the U.S. Supreme Court should endorse insurer standing in Truck Insurance Exchange v. Kaiser Gypsum, doing so would create a playground for mischief and delay, and the high court should instead uphold insurance neutrality, say attorneys at Lowenstein Sandler.

  • Spartan Arbitration Tactics Against Well-Funded Opponents

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    Like the ancient Spartans who held off a numerically superior Persian army at the Battle of Thermopylae, trial attorneys and clients faced with arbitration against an opponent with a bigger war chest can take a strategic approach to create a pass to victory, say Kostas Katsiris and Benjamin Argyle at Venable.

  • Cos. Seeking Cyber Coverage Can Look To Key Policy Terms

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    As cyberattacks increasingly threaten business operations, including one last month that partially paralyzed UnitedHealth's services, expanded interpretations of several key policy terms may allow affected companies to recover under cyber business interruption policies or other coverage, even if their business hasn't completely shut down, say attorneys at Kasowitz.

  • Insurance Industry Asbestos Reserve Estimates Are Unreliable

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    Insurance regulators rely on industry self-reporting in approving insurance company reorganizations, but AM Best data reveals that actuarial and audit estimates have been setting perniciously low levels of loss reserves for asbestos liabilities and thus should be treated with deep skepticism, says Jonathan Terrell at KCIC.

  • High Court Should Endorse Insurer Standing In Bankruptcy

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    In Truck Insurance Exchange v. Kaiser Gypsum, the U.S. Supreme Court will examine bankruptcy standing doctrine as applied to insurers in mass tort cases, and should use the opportunity to eliminate spurious standing roadblocks to resolving insurer objections on their merits, says Frank Perch at White and Williams.