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"Assuming" the Obvious: Exclusion for “Assumption of Liability in a Contract” Does Not Apply to Breach of Professional Services

In what it described as a case of first impression, the Northern District of California ruled that a professional liability policy that excluded the insured’s “assumption of liability obligations in a contract or agreement”...more

Collateral lies: The lie is dishonest but the claim is not

The Supreme Court rules that a collateral lie embellishing a valid claim does not amount to a fraudulent claim. Versloot Dredging BV and another (Appellants) v HDI Gerling Industrie Versicherung AG and others [2016] UKSC...more

5 Wishes for Securities Litigation Defense: Greater Director Involvement in Securities Litigation Defense and D&O Insurance

One of my “5 Wishes for Securities Litigation Defense” (April 30, 2016 post) is greater involvement by boards of directors in decisions concerning D&O insurance and the defense of securities litigation, including...more

D&O Insurance—Issues to Consider Before a Claim Arises

In Depth - Directors and officers (D&O) liability insurance remains a vital issue for companies and their directors and officers as potential sources of liability continue to evolve. More securities lawsuits were filed...more

South Carolina District Court Finds There Is No Separate Cause Of Action For Apportionment Under South Carolina’s Contribution...

Plaintiff Companion Property and Casualty Insurance Company (“Companion”) participated in a fronted insurance program with Redwood and Freestone. Reinsurance collateral trusts were established for Companion’s benefit and...more

5 Wishes for Securities Litigation Defense: Greater Insurer Involvement in Defense-Counsel Selection and Strategy

One of my “5 Wishes for Securities Litigation Defense” last month was for greater D&O insurer involvement in securities class action defense. This simple step would have extensive benefits for public companies and their...more

Case Reminds Insurance Agents to Review Process of Receiving Approval from Insureds Before Submitting Applications to Carriers

Schmidt v. Indiana Insurance Co., No. 22S01-1507-PL-412, Supreme Court of Indiana, December 2, 2015 - Plaintiff was the owner of a house in which he allowed his cousin to live from 2007 to 2009. When the cousin moved...more

Vanishing premiums part deux?

Those of you with gray hair like me may recall the life insurance vanishing premium lawsuits from the mid-1990s. As a refresher, that flood of lawsuits arose from life insurance policies sold in the 80s (mainly whole or...more

Pennsylvania Federal Court Remands Litigation Against Broker Back To State Court, Finding That Party Was Not Fraudulently Joined

The background of this case is that Boomerang Recoveries LLC, a reinsurance program review company, investigated Farmers Insurance Company’s reinsurance contracts to identify any premiums Farmers had been overcharged in...more

Defence & Indemnity - April 2016: I. INSURANCE ISSUES

General information of claims practices and company personnel obtained by an insurer’s in-house counsel is not the type of confidential information that will disqualify the lawyer from acting as Plaintiff’s counsel against...more

An Injunction By Another Name May Still Immediately Be Appealed

The Third Circuit recently reaffirmed its authority to hear appeals from district court interlocutory orders that grant prospective equitable relief under 28 U.S.C. § 1292(a)(1), even where injunctive relief had not expressly...more

Colorado Supreme Court: Insurers Need Not Show Prejudice to Enforce No-Voluntary-Payments Provision of Insurance Policy

On April 25, 2016, the Colorado Supreme Court overturned a decision by the Colorado Court of Appeals and Colorado District Court in what is believed to be a seminal victory for insurers. In Travelers Prop. Cas. Co. of Am. v....more

The financial advisor who sells a trustee an insurance contract that is inappropriate in light of the trust's purposes risks...

It is an understatement that the Minnesota Court of Appeals in In re: Amendment and Restatement of Revocable Living Trust of Alfred J. Berget dated February 15, 2005 [A13-2295, Dec. 8, 2014] afforded the trustee who had...more

Blog: Court Of Appeal Approves Third Party Costs Order Against An Insurer

In Legg & Ors v Sterte Garage Ltd and Aviva UK Limited [2016] EWCA Civ 97, the Court of Appeal upheld the first instance decision that a third party costs order made against the defendant insurer was justified in...more

A-1 Self-Storage Unit Protection Plan: California Court of Appeal Defers to Agency Interpretation of the Insurance Code

The California Court of Appeal recently affirmed a ruling that an optional protection plan in a storage rental contract to transfer the risk of property damage or loss from the renter to the rental company did not transform...more

New York Rescission Law Strikes Again: Lessons Learned From the Voiding of Heinz’s Product Contamination Insurance Policy

An increasingly popular tool in the insurer’s toolset is attempted rescission of the policy. This tool is particularly sharp if the law applicable to the construction of the policy is that of New York. Earlier this week, the...more

UK Financial Regulatory Developments - January 2016 #8

PRA bans former Co-op Bank individuals - PRA has prohibited Barry Tootell, former Chief Financial Officer and Chief Executive of the Co-operative Bank Plc (Co-op Bank) and Keith Alderson, former Managing Director of the...more

Insurance Recovery Law - January 2016

Despite Finding Policy Application Misrepresentation, Jury Rules Against Policy Rescission - Why it matters: A federal jury concluded that Starr Surplus Lines Insurance Company did not have a valid basis to rescind the...more

Alabama Acknowledges AAA Rules Authorize Arbitrator To Determine Whether Non-Signatory Is Bound

The Alabama Supreme Court has followed the Eighth Circuit’s lead, concluding that when the parties agree to arbitrate pursuant to the AAA Rules, they have clearly and unmistakably authorized the arbitrator to determine who is...more

Court Holds That Service-Of-Suit Clause Waives Right To Seek Removal

The Northern District of Illinois recently granted a motion to remand filed by an insolvent insurer’s assignee because the removal contravened the forum-selection clauses of the reinsurance agreements at issue. Pine Top...more

For Whom the Contractual Suit Limitation Period Tolls

Virginia’s Supreme Court recently addressed an issue of statutory interpretation that affects whether or under what circumstances a contractual suit limitation provision in an insurance policy may be tolled. In Allstate Prop....more

New York Federal District Court Dismisses Third Party Claim Against Insurance Brokerage Service

In what the court termed a “risk-free reinsurance scheme [that] proved anything but,” a New York federal court dismissed a third-party claim against the insurance brokerage service that put the two parties to the insurance...more

Fourth Circuit Holds Consequential Damages Exclusion Bars $19 Million Fire Loss Claim Case Background

Poyner Spruill represented the defendant pesticide applicator, Industrial Fumigant Company (IFC), in Severn Peanut Co., Inc. v. Industrial Fumigant Co., 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS (4th Cir. Dec. 2, 2015). IFC was sued in the...more

South Carolina Federal Court Grants In Part, Denies In Part, Trustee’s Motion To Dismiss Claims Brought By Fronting Insurer In...

Plaintiff Companion Property and Casualty Insurance Company (“Companion”) brought suit against U.S. Bank National Association (“US Bank”) arising from its role as trustee under various reinsurance collateral trusts that...more

Are Self-Insurers Subject to State Insurance Claim Handling Statutes?

According to the court in Bingham v. Supervalu, Inc., No. 15-1437 (1st Cir. November 13, 2015), the answer is “no.” As the Bingham decision illustrates, however, the answer to this question depends on the self-insurer’s risk...more

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