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A Constitutional Challenge to Florida's New Unclaimed Property Act Amendments

In April, Florida amended its Disposition of Unclaimed Property Act (“Act”) to require life insurers to perform Death Master File (DMF) searches for all policies issued since 1992. The amended Act also provides that a DMF...more

11th Circuit Awards Humana Double Damages Under Medicare Secondary Payer Act

Humana Medical Plan, Inc. v. Western Heritage Insurance Co., case number 15-11436. Liability insurers beware, as the 11th Circuit held that Medicare Advantage Organizations (MAO) are entitled to the same rights Medicare...more

STOLI Policies Cancelled, Insurers Retain Premium

Two federal appellate courts have affirmed, on different grounds, the cancellation of large life insurance policies that were alleged to be stranger originated life insurance (STOLI), permitting the issuing insurers to retain...more

New Wave of COI Rate Increase Lawsuits Hits the Industry

Historically, increases to cost of insurance (COI) rates on universal life (UL) policies have been met with legal challenges from policyholders, and sometimes, regulatory opposition spurred by policyholder complaints. The...more

Assignment v. Subrogation — Prosecuting Recovery Actions Arising from Personal Injury Claims

It is common in most jurisdictions that personal injury claims cannot be assigned. This can occasionally present a concern when an insurance carrier attempts to bring a contribution action against a third-party tortfeasor...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

Missouri Western District Court of Appeals Reminds Us to Pay No Attention to the Headings for the Revised Statutes

The Missouri Western District Court of Appeals recently affirmed a trial court’s issuance of summary judgment and, in the process, reminded practitioners that the bold faced headings in the Revised Statutes are not part of...more

Florida’s Fifth District Allows Evidence of Prior Sinkhole Insurance Settlement in Subsequent Sinkhole Trial

In Tower Hill Signature Ins. v. Speck, 2016 Fla. App. LEXIS 12167 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 5th Dist. Aug. 12, 2016), the Fifth District found the trial court abused its discretion by not admitting into evidence the amount of a...more

Control-of-Well Insurance: The Words of the Policy Control

Gemini Insurance Company at al v. Drilling Risk Management Inc construed control-of-well and redrill/extra-expense provisions in an insurance contract. The question and the rule - The question was whether an...more

Distinguishing ‘collateral lies’ from the fraudulent claims rules in insurance contracts: the lie is dishonest but the claim is...

In Versloot Dredging BV and another v HDI Gerling Industrie Versicherung AG and others [2016] UKSC 45, handed down, last month, the Supreme Court ruled that a “collateral lie” made during the course of an insurance claim...more

Final Judgment Entered And Notice Of Appeal Filed In Longstanding Reinsurance Dispute

In the ongoing reinsurance dispute between cedent Utica Mutual Insurance Company and reinsurer Clearwater Insurance Company, about which we most recently posted on February 9, 2016, two developments occurred on July 14, 2016....more

New Jersey Supreme Court Holds CGL Policies Cover Developer/General Contractor for Damage Caused by Subcontractor’s Faulty...

The New Jersey Supreme Court recently considered whether damage caused by a subcontractor’s faulty workmanship constitutes property damage caused by an occurrence under a developer/general contractor’s commercial general...more

Insurance News, Summer 2016

Eight Years after Bi-Economy and Panasia, What is the Law of Bad Faith in New York? Prior to 2008, the law of bad faith in New York seemed fairly well established. A claim for bad faith against an insurer, which might...more

Bad Faith Actions for Excess Judgments….is There Trouble Brewing for Recalcitrant Primary Insurers

Can an excess carrier go ahead and fund an excess primary limits settlement and then assert a claim for bad faith against the primary insurer who previously refused to accept and fund a prior in-limits policy demand? On...more

Eleventh Circuits Affirms Summary Judgment in Favor of Insurer Based on Homeowners Failure to Cooperate with the Insurer’s...

In Hsu v. Safeco Ins. Co. of Ind., 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12407 (11th Cir. 2016), the Eleventh Circuit affirmed summary judgment in favor of Safeco Insurance Company of Indiana (“Safeco”), finding that the homeowner breached...more

11th Circuit Holds Insurer Not Entitled to Summary Judgment in Bad Faith Claim

In its recent decision in Hinson v. Titan Ins. Co., 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 14474 (11th Cir. Aug. 8, 2016), the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, had occasion to consider how diligent an insurer must act...more

2016 Captive Insurance Update | Issue 2 | 2016

Governor Peter Shumlin (D-Vt.) is not running for re-election this fall, so Vermont will have a new governor in January 2017. In addition, the Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation (DFR), Susan...more

Broad “Assumption of Liability” Clause in Subcontract Likely Trumps “Waiver of Subrogation” Clause in Prime Contract

In a recent case handled by Bradley, a federal court in Maryland issued a decision attempting to reconcile inconsistent contract provisions. The general contractor said that its fire sprinkler subcontractor was...more

Despite Pollution Exclusion, Insurer On Hook for Contamination in Indiana

Seyfarth Synopsis: The Northern District of Indiana rejected the insurer’s assertion that its pollution exclusion clauses unambiguously included all contaminants. Indiana, unlike other jurisdictions, is pro-insured when...more

District Court Of Nebraska Determines Non-Signatory Of Arbitration Agreement Is Not Bound To Arbitrate

A signatory may bind a non-signatory to an arbitration agreement through principles of contract and agency law such as: (1) incorporation by reference; (2) assumption; (3) agency; (4) veil-piercing/alter-ego; and (5)...more

Forgery May Not Constitute “Theft” Under an Employee Dishonesty Coverage

Ruling in favor of the insurer on a motion for summary judgment, on July 29, 2016 the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals held that under the terms of a commercial crime policy, proof of a forgery by the insured’s employee in...more

Washington Court Finds Coverage For “Collapse” Is Not Set In Stone

As this blog has documented, the language of insurance policies evolves; it changes to address new risks, and it also responds to new interpretations of old policy provisions. Even if a policyholder maintains a long-standing...more

Wisconsin Supreme Court Reaffirms Four-Corners Rule for Insurers’ Duty to Defend

An insurer’s decision whether to defend a lawsuit against its insured can be a critical issue involving tens of thousands, if not millions, of dollars for Wisconsin companies who are sued. The Wisconsin Supreme Court recently...more

The Nuts and Bolts of Tolling an Insurance Policy’s Suit Limitation Provision in New Jersey

A recent New Jersey Federal District Court decision provides a good example of how an insurance policy’s Suit Limitation period may be “stopped” and “re-started” by equitable tolling during the adjustment of a property...more

“Rip and Tear” Damage Remains Covered Under CGL Policy as “Accident”—for Now.

The Colorado Supreme Court has approved a settlement between the parties to an appeal of the 2012 Colorado Pool Systems v. Scottsdale Insurance Company Court of Appeals case, leaving that ruling intact. The ruling parses a...more

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