• March 28, 2024

    Wash. Appeals Court Asked To Mull COVID Coverage Question

    A Washington state court has halted litigation over the University of Washington's bid for COVID-19 business interruption coverage from a Liberty Mutual unit, asking a state appeals court to first determine whether the presence of COVID-19 satisfies UW's policies' direct physical loss or damage requirement and if a contamination exclusion applies.

  • March 28, 2024

    Flood Risk Disclosure Law Uptick Offers Insurance Upsides

    A growing trend of states adopting and implementing flood risk disclosure laws must continue, experts say, touting such laws as protecting consumers and informing efforts to mitigate climate change costs through insurance and other risk management efforts.

  • March 28, 2024

    5th Circ. Limits Broad Contract Liability Exclusions In SXSW

    The Fifth Circuit awarded policyholders a major victory over a thorny issue when it ruled that Texas music festival South by Southwest's insurer owed defense coverage for a ticket holder class action over unpaid refunds from the canceled 2020 festival.

  • March 28, 2024

    Mercedes, Insurer Don't Owe Reimbursement For Vehicle Fire

    Mercedes-Benz's North American research arm and its insurer don't owe reimbursement to a commercial real estate operator's insurer for $1 million in damages stemming from a vehicle fire at a testing facility, a Michigan federal judge ruled, finding that Mercedes' insurer issued commercial general liability coverage, not property protection insurance.

  • March 28, 2024

    Insurer's $1.37M Suit Over Stolen Walmart Flare Gun Misfires

    An Oregon federal judge has thrown out a $1.37 million suit from Ascot Specialty Insurance Co. against Walmart Inc. seeking to hold the retailer liable for a fire started by a stolen flare gun, saying the insurer has failed to show how Walmart is responsible for a third party's criminal acts.

  • March 28, 2024

    NC Justices' Split Leaves Willful Violation Question Unsolved

    A dispute over coverage for a law firm accused of violating the Driver's Privacy Protection Act provided an opportunity for the North Carolina Supreme Court to interpret a policy exclusion for the willful violation of a statute, but experts say a deadlocked decision will leave the issue for another day.

  • March 28, 2024

    Insurer Ordered To Defend Legionnaires' Suits

    The insurer of a nonprofit providing housing to at-risk individuals in New York City must defend it in three underlying lawsuits alleging that numerous residents contracted Legionnaires' disease at two properties in the Bronx, a New York federal court ruled, finding a communicable disease exclusion inapplicable.

  • March 27, 2024

    NC Commissioner Says Insurance Mogul's Argument 'Mistaken'

    The North Carolina insurance commissioner asked the state's Supreme Court on Tuesday to allow him to give his take on a group of insurers' lawsuit against embattled mogul Greg Lindberg that alleges he pilfered the insurance companies as owner, saying if the court lets him submit an amicus brief he'll explain how Lindberg's main argument is "mistaken."

  • March 27, 2024

    2nd Circ. Weighs Broadening 'Claim' In Shareholder Dispute

    The Second Circuit questioned Wednesday whether it should use a New York state appeals court ruling to broaden the meaning of "claim" in a propane company's directors and officers policy with a Liberty Mutual unit, including not just an entire underlying lawsuit but the individual causes of action within.

  • March 26, 2024

    Insurer's Intervention In Sex-Trafficking Coverage Suit Limited

    Starr Indemnity & Liability Co. can intervene in another insurer's suit against a hospitality company over coverage for sex trafficking allegations, but only if the other carrier's policy isn't rescinded and the case proceeds to a second phase of litigation, a Texas federal court has ruled.

  • March 26, 2024

    UK Marine Insurer Investigating Baltimore Bridge Crash

    Britannia, a British marine insurer, confirmed Tuesday that it is working with authorities in Baltimore after a container ship destroyed the city's landmark Francis Scott Key Bridge in a collision that experts say is likely to cost the insurance sector billions of dollars in claims.

  • March 25, 2024

    No Coverage for Pa. ATV Accident, Insurer Says

    Truck Insurance Exchange has told a Pennsylvania state court it should owe no coverage to a policyholder facing a personal injury suit over an all-terrain vehicle accident, saying the policyholder's insurance agent "intentionally" failed to disclose the accident before Truck issued the policy.

  • March 22, 2024

    Insurer Urges 9th Circ. To Reverse LA Port Co.'s Defense Win

    United National Insurance Co. urged the Ninth Circuit on Friday to reverse a ruling that the insurer was obligated to defend a Los Angeles port company against pollution claims brought by the city, saying the lower court erroneously failed to enforce the policy's qualified pollution exclusion.

  • March 21, 2024

    AI Presents Risk To Insurers And Policyholders, Panelists Say

    The growing use of artificial intelligence presents a risk to both insurers and insureds, experts said during a webinar Thursday, advising policyholders and their attorneys on how to navigate novel issues arising from the use of AI in the insurance industry.

  • March 21, 2024

    Calif. Panel Revives Diner's COVID Sanitization Coverage Bid

    A California state appeals court revived a diner's bid for property insurance coverage of COVID-19 losses after it determined the restaurant credibly alleged direct physical losses and that the policy's language covering losses attributable to a virus applied to COVID-19 sanitization efforts.

  • March 21, 2024

    2nd Circ. To Weigh 'Claim' Meaning In Family Share Dispute

    The Second Circuit on Wednesday will hear arguments over whether a New York federal court erred in finding that a contract exclusion barred any duty a Liberty Mutual unit had to defend a propane company and two of its executives in a family shareholder dispute.

  • March 21, 2024

    6 Questions For ZestyAI CEO Attila Toth

    As California regulators push proposals aimed at luring back insurance companies to the state's challenged market, advanced modeling techniques have taken a prominent place in the debate over how to best price risk as traditional methods lose relevance. Here, Law360 talks to Attila Toth, chief executive officer of ZestyAI, a risk modeling company that sells artificial intelligence-based risk models to insurers seeking to refine their risk assessment capabilities.

  • March 21, 2024

    Insurance Litigation Week In Review

    The U.S. Supreme Court considered the NRA's free speech rights and whether an insurer had standing in bankruptcy court, Geico was slammed with a $164 million payout, the Sixth Circuit seemed hesitant to force Amway to pay its own defense costs and Metallica's COVID-19 coverage case faded to black.

  • March 21, 2024

    Calif. Regulators' Pitch On Insurance Reform Draws Scrutiny

    Two regulations proposed to help lure insurers back to California's market by speeding up the state's rate approvals and allowing insurers to use catastrophe models to set rates are drawing scrutiny as industry and consumer groups weigh their potential effects.

  • March 21, 2024

    Sanitizer Co. Faces Tough Ad Injury Coverage Bid In 2nd Circ.

    A company accused of falsely advertising that its sanitizing products were effective in disinfecting surfaces faces an uphill battle, experts say, as the Second Circuit is poised to hear oral arguments Monday over whether the company is owed coverage under its commercial general liability policy for an underlying class action.

  • March 19, 2024

    8th Circ. Won't Rethink Mo. City's COVID-19 Coverage Loss

    The Eighth Circuit shot down a Missouri city's request to reconsider a panel ruling denying its request for coverage of sales tax revenue losses stemming from pandemic-related shutdowns, rejecting the city's argument that the panel misinterpreted policy terms and skewed its review in favor of the insurer.

  • March 18, 2024

    Justices Tilt Toward NRA In Free Speech Row With Regulator

    A cautious U.S. Supreme Court seemed poised Monday to rule in favor of the National Rifle Association in a case over allegations that a former New York state official pressured financial institutions to cut ties to the National Rifle Association in violation of its free speech rights.

  • March 18, 2024

    Colo. HOA Not Covered In Travelers Repair Payment Row

    A Colorado federal judge ruled a Travelers unit doesn't have a duty to defend or indemnify a Denver homeowners association seeking coverage for a dispute with a different Travelers unit that alleged it overpaid for a hailstorm property damage claim.

  • March 18, 2024

    Chicago Can Keep $26M Willis Tower Suit In Federal Court

    A federal judge in Illinois has declined to send a $26 million lawsuit against the City of Chicago over rain damage at Willis Tower back to state court, finding the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago acts under federal authority in maintaining the minimum water levels dictated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

  • March 15, 2024

    U. Of Wash. Opposes Question Cert. In COVID Coverage Suit

    The University of Washington's board of regents urged a state court to reject a Liberty Mutual unit's motion to certify COVID-19 coverage questions to a state appeals court, pointing to the Washington Supreme Court's previous rejection of such a move in a separate case that similarly involved pleadings-stage coverage claims.

Expert Analysis

  • Hurricane Insurance Prep Is Key For Fla. Condos And HOAs

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    As this year's hurricane season gets underway, Florida associations for homeowners, condos and communities should review their insurance policies and protocols in advance of potential inclement weather, says Kelly Corcoran at Ball Janik.

  • Property Insurance Coverage Can Hinge On 'Riot' Or 'Protest'

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    As protests erupt across the U.S. in response to the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, Alycen Moss and Elliot Kerzner at Cozen O'Connor examine important property insurance questions that depend on whether a gathering of people is classified as a protest or a riot.

  • Lessons From Calif. Liability Claim Recoupment Ruling

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    A recent California federal court decision in Evanston Insurance v. Winstar Properties illustrates the perils of insurer recoupment and underscores the importance of assessing recoupment rights, if any, throughout the claims process, say Geoffrey Fehling and Veronica Adams at Hunton.

  • Recent Decisions Are Eroding All-Risk Insurance Coverage

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    All-risk insurance coverage is under siege by insurers' broad interpretations of established exclusions, and recent decisions in New Jersey and New Hampshire have shown that courts may not protect coverage despite the policies' text and intent, says Nicholas Insua at Reed Smith.

  • Exploring Calif. Wildfire Insurance's Legislative Landscape

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    As California wildfire season approaches, elected officials and insurance companies continue to face the task of finding long-term solutions, including an increasingly important role for mitigation efforts by individual homeowners and business owners in order to protect their property, say Jan Larson and Jenna Conwisar at Jenner & Block.

  • COVID Coverage Cases Conflict With Insurer Documentation

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    A look at three court cases highlights a gap between successful insurer arguments made in litigation about policy text and the insurance industry's own understanding of the potential for property damage and business interruption coverage of virus- and disease-related claims, say professors at UConn, the University of Nevada and Queen's University.

  • Pandemic Losses Do Not Trigger Biz Interruption Coverage

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    Although Law360 has reported that there may be hope for policyholders seeking property insurance coverage for pandemic-related losses, basic contract principles and overwhelming case law show the opposite, say attorneys at Dentons.

  • 2 Calif. Insurance Decisions Question Boundaries Of Fortuity

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    Last month, California state and federal courts revisited fortuity issues in two decisions that show how the occurrence requirement and the California Insurance Code's prohibition on coverage for an insured's willful acts can be exceedingly difficult to apply to lawsuits alleging novel legal theories, say Jodi Green and Sophia von Bergen at Miller Nash.

  • Insurer Best Practices For NY Climate Risk Compliance

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    Insurers should view the New York Department of Financial Services' guidance on managing financial risks from climate change as a bellwether for state and federal regulation and should use the time before this summer's compliance deadline to prepare and implement an appropriate response strategy, say Jim Wrynn and Robert Stephens at FTI Consulting.

  • Assessing NFT Insurance Coverage Options And Gaps

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    Because non-fungible tokens do not come bundled with insurance policies, and until NFT-specific insurance policies become more common, NFT owners should proactively protect against risk by drawing upon existing frameworks, despite potential coverage gaps, say Brian Scarbrough and Edward Crouse at Jenner & Block.

  • Crypto And NFTs Could Change The Future Of Real Estate

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    As they grow increasingly popular, cryptocurrencies and nonfungible tokens may shape how real estate transactions are conducted and open the market to many new investors, but these changes are not without risk, says Hugo Alvarez at Cole Scott.

  • The Misinterpretation Of Pa.'s Bad Faith Claims Handling Rule

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    Courts applying Pennsylvania law in insurance coverage disputes, such as the recently decided Walker v. Foremost Insurance, and finding that where an insurer establishes that the subject claim is not covered by the insurer’s policy there can also be no bad faith claim by the insured, are inaccurately interpreting state law, say George Stewart and Max Louik at Reed Smith.

  • How Sonic Boom Risk Informs 'Physical Loss' For COVID Era

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    Applied to today's COVID-19 business interruption insurance battles, insurers' historical treatment of damage associated with sonic booms — or explosive sounds stemming from supersonic airplane speeds — may call into question the many court rulings barring coverage for pandemic-related losses on narrow physical loss grounds, say Peter Kochenburger at the University of Connecticut and Jeffrey Stempel at University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

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