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Till Death Do Us Part. . . or at Least Until the Divorce Becomes Final

When important changes occur in life, it is advisable to reevaluate your estate planning to ensure it continues to meet the goals and objectives you have for your estate and your beneficiaries – and going through a divorce is...more

The Insurance Examination Privilege Just Became Important

When a U.S. insurance regulator investigates market conduct or financial solvency, its work is governed by a state law based on the NAIC Model Law on Examinations. Like the Model Law, all state laws strictly protect the...more

Europeans Authorize Negotiations with US to Loosen Reinsurance Collateral Requirements

Earlier this week, the European Union’s executive body gained key approval to begin negotiations with the United States on a deal aimed at cutting the minimum collateral levels required of foreign reinsurers operating in the...more

California: Service of Suit Endorsement Trumps Forum Selection Clause in Case Involving Product Recall Due to Contamination.

On February 5th in a case involving the recall of over $500,000 worth of oyster products made from Korean shellfish, the Southern District of California held: (1) that the policy’s service of suit clause, which gave the...more

California’s “Third Party Litigation Exception” Not Preempted By The FAA

A California appellate court recently examined that state’s legislative response to the situation where a party moves to compel arbitration and some of the parties to the dispute are not parties to the arbitration agreement....more

Navigating the Maze of Medical Cannabis - Uncertainty and the Challenge of Obtaining Banking and Insurance Services for...

The current and two immediate past presidents have smoked it. As one leading expert commented during a congressional hearing, perhaps “marijuana is a gateway drug to the White House?” Medical marijuana is now legal in...more

Texas Court Enforces Policy’s New York Forum Selection Clause

In Chandler Mgmt. Corp. v. First Specialty Ins. Corp., 2014 Tex. App. LEXIS 13192 (Tex. App. Ct. 5th Dist. 2014), the Appellate Court of Texas, Fifth District, had occasion to consider whether, under Texas law, a surplus...more

Illinois Supreme Court Agrees to Decide Limits on Self-Insured Car Rental Company's Liability for Customers' Accidents

In the closing days of its November term, the Illinois Supreme Court agreed to decide an issue of considerable importance for Illinois’ car rental industry: can a self-insured car rental company be held liable without...more

New Jersey Federal Court Examines Claim Dispute Under Standard Flood Insurance Policy

The court in Damiano v. Harleysville Ins. Co., Case No. 13-cv-07293-FLW-LHG, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 97988 (D.N.J. July 17, 2014) recently addressed the scope of claims that can be asserted against property insurers issuing...more

Fifth Circuit Holds That a TPEE in a CGL Policy Can Exclude Pollution Claims Even in the Face of a UREC

What you need to know: The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, applying Texas law, held that a Total Pollution Exclusion Endorsement in a CGL Policy did not irreconcilably conflict with, and therefore was not superseded...more

FIO Focus, Issue No. 58: Senate Passes TRIA Reauthorization and NARAB II

Devoted to exploring the progress of the modernization of the insurance industry, FIO Focus provides information and insights about the organizations and issues that are driving change and influencing the future of the...more

Federal Court Erie Prediction Insufficient to Establish Conflict of Law

In its recent decision in Bridgeview Health Care Ctr. v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co., 2014 Ill. LEXIS 596 (May, 22, 2014), the Supreme Court of Illinois had occasion to consider whether a federal court’s Erie prediction is...more

Multiple Causes of Loss: An “Efficient” Standard for First-Party Coverage

What happens when a loss results from two or more perils, only one of which is covered under a first-party insurance policy? In American Home Assurance Company, Inc. v. Sebo, 38 Fla. L. Weekly D1982a (Fla. 2d DCA Sept. 18,...more

The Meaning Of Life Settlements: Are They Securities Or Not?

“Life settlements” are financial transactions in which the original owner of a life insurance policy sells it to a third party for an up front, lump sum payment. The amount paid for the policy is less than the death benefit...more

California Supreme Court Holds Insurers are Subject to Unfair Competition Claims in Zhang Case

On August 1, the California Supreme Court issued its highly-anticipated decision in Zhang v. Superior Court, holding that the California Unfair Insurance Practices Act (Ins. Code §790 et seq.) does not necessarily preempt an...more

Hospital’s State Law Claims against Health Plan Held Preempted by ERISA, Rules NJ Appellate Division

Last month a NJ Appellate Division panel held in three consolidated appeals that a NJ hospital’s state law claims that a health care plan must pay full price for medical services the hospital provided to plan participants are...more

State Law Cannot Reallocate Life Insurance Proceeds That Accrued To Named Beneficiary Under Federal Law

The Supreme Court recently held that federal law pre-empts state law that attempts to reallocate proceeds accruing to the designated beneficiary of a federal life insurance policy. Hillman v. Maretta, 133 S. Ct. 1943 (2013)...more

US District Court Prohibits Enforcement of California 340B Medicaid Mandatory Carve-In Law

The 340B program permits eligible hospitals and other “safety-net” providers (340B Covered Entities) to purchase outpatient drugs from pharmaceutical manufacturers at significant discounts. To address its fiscal woes,...more

Washington Supreme Court: FAA Does Not Preempt State Law Prohibiting Arbitration Agreements in Insurance Contracts

The Washington Supreme Court has ruled that the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) does not preempt a state statute that prohibits binding arbitration agreements in insurance contracts....more

Courts Take Divergent Positions on "Disparagement" Under Advertising Injury Coverage

Within the last four months, two divisions of the California Court of Appeal’s Second Appellate District have taken different positions on the requirements for “disparage,” as that term is used in commercial liability...more

Illinois Supreme Court Refuses to Invalidate Policy Deadline for Uninsured Motorist Claims

Can an insurance policy be rendered unenforceable by Illinois public policy because of a conflict with another state's law? This morning, in an opinion by Justice Lloyd A. Karmeier for a 6-1 majority, the Illinois...more

Federal District Court Holds Federal Law Preempts Massachusetts’ Statutory Limits On Mortgage Insurance

On September 21, the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts held that the Federal Homeowners Loan Act preempted a Massachusetts law that forbids lenders from requiring borrowers to purchase insurance greater...more

Federal-Mogul Court Confirms That Bankruptcy Law Trumps Anti-Assignment Provisions in Insurance Policies

On May 1, 2012, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in In re Federal–Mogul Global, Inc. confirmed that anti-assignment provisions in a debtor’s insurance liability policies are preempted by the Bankruptcy...more

Fifth Circuit Rejects Expansive Reading of Texas Law Regarding an Insured’s Right to Independent Counsel

Under Texas law, “when the facts to be adjudicated in [a] liability lawsuit are the same facts upon which coverage depends, the conflict of interest will prevent the insurer from conducting the defense.” N. Cnty. Mut. Ins....more

State Claims Related to Renewal of FEMA "Write Your Own" Floor Insurance Programs are Federally Preempted

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit last week held that any state claim related to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) “Write Your Own” (WYO) flood insurance program is preempted by federal law if it...more

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