Property

  • March 29, 2024

    8th Circ. Revives $1.5M Mo. Tornado Coverage Dispute

    A Missouri building materials company has another shot at collecting from an insurer accused of failing to fully cover more than $3 million in 2013 tornado damage, an Eighth Circuit panel ruled Friday, disagreeing with a trial court's determination that the business was uncooperative with its insurer.

  • March 28, 2024

    Baltimore Bridge Collision Raises Massive Insurance Fallout

    A container ship collision that destroyed Baltimore's landmark Francis Scott Key Bridge caused a level of death, injury, destruction and economic harm that will likely cost the insurance sector billions of dollars and leave many without closure or compensation for years.

  • March 28, 2024

    Insurer Won't Pay Half Snow Remover's Fraud Coverage Suit

    An insurer avoided paying for half of a nearly $360,000 wire fraud scheme targeting a snow removal company Thursday, after a Minnesota federal judge found its policy precluded coverage for a variety of reasons.

  • March 28, 2024

    Q&A: Former Calif. Insurance Chief On Climate & Rate Setting

    From intense wildfires to devastating floods, the effects of climate change on California's insurance market cannot be understated, a fact that experts point to often as regulators weigh how to bring insurers back to business in the Golden State.

  • March 28, 2024

    Insurance Litigation Week In Review

    A marine insurer confirmed it's cooperating with Baltimore authorities after an insured cargo ship collided with the Francis Scott Key Bridge, music festival South by Southwest's class action coverage efforts were renewed, and North Carolina justices dismantled 30 years of intermediate appellate court adherence to "stacking" underinsured motorist policies.

  • March 28, 2024

    Foxwoods Tribal Owner Loses $76M COVID Insurance Appeal

    The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, which owns and operates the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut, did not meet a key burden when suing its insurer for more than $76 million in losses tied to the COVID-19 pandemic, the state's intermediate-level appeals court ruled Thursday in declining to revive the litigation.

  • 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.

Expert Analysis

  • Ga. Mirror-Image Rule Makes Settlements Fraught For Insurers

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    The Georgia Court of Appeals' recent decision in Pierce v. Banks shows how strictly Georgia courts will enforce the rule that an insurer's response to a settlement demand must be a mirror image of the demand — and is a reminder that parties must exercise caution when accepting such a demand, says Seth Friedman at Lewis Brisbois.

  • What's In The NAIC's Draft AI Bulletin

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    The National Association of Insurance Commissioners has released a draft bulletin on insurers' use of artificial intelligence systems, intended as a template for regulators to guide insurers to employ AI consistently with market conduct, corporate governance and unfair and deceptive trade practice laws, say Paige Waters and Stephanie O'Neill Macro at Locke Lord.

  • Insurance Ruling Shows Notice Letters Need Close Review

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    A Texas appeals court's recent disapproval of an insured’s presuit notice letter to Westchester Surplus Lines Insurance — which refused to quantify an alleged injury — should prompt courts to probe deeper when considering whether such a letter gives the insurer the information needed to resolve the claim or make a settlement offer, say Jennifer Martin and Timothy Delabar at Wilson Elser.

  • Groundbreaking Nev. Law May Alter Insurance Landscape

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    The Nevada Legislature recently passed a law prohibiting insurers from issuing liability policies with eroding limits provisions that has the potential to create massive shifts in the marketplace — and specifically in areas like professional liability, cyber, and directors and officers insurance, says Will Bennett at Saxe Doernberger.

  • What The ESG Divide Means For Insurers And Beyond

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    The debate around ESG is becoming increasingly polarized, with some states passing legislation that prohibits the use of ESG factors and others advancing affirmative legislation, highlighting the importance for insurers and other companies to understand this complex legal landscape, say Scott Seaman and Bessie Daschbach at Hinshaw.

  • 2nd Circ. Reinsurance Ruling Correctly Applied English Law

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    Contrary to a recent Law360 guest article's argument, the Second Circuit correctly applied English law when it decided in Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania v. Equitas that concurrent reinsurance certificates required the reinsurer to cover loss in accordance with the law of the policy's governing jurisdiction, say Peter Chaffetz and Andrew Poplinger at Chaffetz Lindsey.

  • Hospitality Biz Must Prep For Seaweed Damage Coverage

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    With the Great Atlantic Sargassum Seaweed Belt, a 10-million-ton mass of brown seaweed, potentially about to approach the coasts of the U.S. Southeast, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean, affected policyholders should consider whether their losses are covered by their property insurance policies, say attorneys at Pillsbury.

  • ALI, Bar Groups Need More Defense Engagement For Balance

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    The American Law Institute and state bar committees have a special role in the development of the law — but if they do not do a better job of including attorneys from the defense bar, they will come to be viewed as special interest advocacy groups, says Mark Behrens at Shook Hardy.

  • 2nd Circ. Reinsurance Ruling Misconstrues English Law

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    The Second Circuit's finding in Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania v. Equitas Insurance, that London-based reinsurer Equitas owed coverage for losses outside the policy period, stems from that court's misinterpretation of English law on reinsurance policy construction, says Christopher Foster at Holman Fenwick.

  • How Fla. Tort Reform Will Shift Construction Defect Suits

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    Recent modifications to Florida's private statutory action rules for building code violations and to the statute of limitations and repose for defect claims significantly clarify ambiguity that had existed under previous rules, and both claimants and defendants should consider new legal arguments that may become possible, say Ryan Soohoo and George Truitt at Cole Scott.

  • PFAS Coverage Litigation Strategy Lessons For Policyholders

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    While policyholders' efforts to recover insurance proceeds for PFAS-related costs are in the early stages, it appears from litigation so far that substantial coverage should be available for PFAS-related liabilities, including both defense costs and indemnity payments in connection with those liabilities, say Benedict Lenhart and Alexis Dyschkant at Covington.

  • Climate Reporting Regs Mean New Risks To Insure

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    As regulators in the U.S., U.K. and beyond implement new climate-related investment and disclosure requirements for corporations, decision makers should investigate whether their insurance policies offer the right coverage to respond to the legal and regulatory risks of this increased scrutiny, says David Cummings at Reed Smith.

  • Unpacking NY's Revamped Wrongful Death Bill

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    Legislation to amend New York’s wrongful death law, introduced May 2, proposes more limited reforms than an earlier version the governor vetoed in January, but will likely still face strong opposition due to the severe financial impacts it would have on insurers’ set premiums and reserves, say Eric Andrew and David Adams at Hurwitz Fine.

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