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Recent Decision Finds No Business Income Coverage Where Flood Caused Order of Civil Authority

When Super Storm Sandy struck the Northeast on October 29, 2012, states, cities, municipalities and towns up and down the East Coast ordered hundreds of thousands of people to evacuate from their homes and businesses. ...more

Vermont Supreme Court Rejects Traditional Environmental Harm Limitation for Pollution Exclusion

In its recent decision in Cincinnati Specialty Underwriters Ins. Co. v. Energy Wise Homes, Inc., 2015 VT 52 (Vt. Apr. 3, 2015), the Supreme Court of Vermont had occasion to consider whether a pollution exclusion is limited to...more

April Fool's Day Sees National Flood Insurance Rates Rise

So what day would you pick to have your flood insurance premium double? April Fool's Day? You got it. Well, that's a little hyperbolic. Rates aren't doubling instantaneously tomorrow. Instead they are rising...more

Order of Civil Authority Claim for Superstorm Sandy Barred by Flooding Exclusion in New York

On Thursday of law week, a federal court in New York City tossed an Order of Civil Authority (OCA) claim by a New York City law firm in Bamundo, Zwal & Schermerhorn, LLP v. Sentinel Ins. Co., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39409...more

Insurance is Big in Texas: In Deepwater Horizon Case, Texas Stretches a Policy’s Four Corners to Include Other Contracts

Last month, in In re Deepwater Horizon, Relator, the Supreme Court of Texas applied a fundamental principle of insurance law to a case with enormous financial implications. The owner of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig had...more

Fracking: Yes! There’s Insurance Coverage for That!

Some people believe that “fracking” – the use of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing technology – is a miracle, increasing the extraction of oil and gas from places deep under the ground where hydrocarbons were...more

Insurance Recovery Law - February 2015 #2

Separate Contract Serves to Limit Insurance Coverage for Deepwater Horizon Spill, Texas Supreme Court Rules - Why it matters: The Texas Supreme Court rejected BP’s $750 million claim for coverage under Transocean...more

The Supreme Court of Texas Marries Contractual Limitations to Insurance Policies

In a case that has been closely watched by the oil and gas industry and its insurers, the Supreme Court of Texas issued its opinion in In re Deepwater Horizon on February 13, 2015, and settled the debate concerning whether a...more

DRM client wins important case precluding termination of insurer insolvency before contingent or unliquidated claims can be...

The Vermont Supreme Court has ruled in In Re Ambassador Ins. Co., 2015 VT 4 (Vt. Jan. 23, 2015) that the liquidator of Ambassador Insurance acted unreasonably in setting a December 31, 2013 bar date for policyholder claims...more

Wisconsin Supreme Court's misapplication of the pollution exclusion and disregard for policyholders' business and purpose in...

Last week, the Wisconsin Supreme Court issued two opinions in which it held that pollution exclusions barred coverage for third-party claims resulting from alleged contamination of water due to the seepage of cow manure and...more

Wisconsin Supreme Court Applies Pollution Exclusion to Well Contaminated with Manure

Recently, the Wisconsin Supreme Court held that the pollution exclusion applies to well water contamination arising from the application of manure to nearby farmland, relieving a general liability insurer of its duty to...more

In New York, Failing to Timely Notify Insurance Carriers of a Pollution Incident May Cost You

On January 8, 2015, in Travelers Indem. Co. v. Orange & Rockland Utilities, Inc., the New York Appellate Division upheld a decision finding that Orange & Rockland Utilities Inc.’s notice to Travelers Indemnity Co. of...more

Wisconsin Supreme Court: Pollution Exclusion Bars Coverage for Well Contamination Resulting from the Application of Manure and...

In Wilson Mutual Ins. Co. v. Robert Falk and Jane Falk, 2013AP691 & 2013AP776, and Preisler v. Kuettel’s Septic Serv., 2012AP2521, the Wisconsin Supreme Court sought to resolve conflicting court of appeals’ decisions on...more

Congress Finally Enacts Chemical Facility Security Legislation

In a rare bipartisan gesture, on December 11, 2014, the House of Representatives unanimously passed H.R. 4007, the “Protecting and Securing Chemicals Facilities from Terrorist Attacks Act of 2014” (“Act”), which the Senate...more

Insurance Recovery Law -- December 2014 #2

Ammonia Release Constitutes “Direct Physical Loss” Under Policy - Why it matters: A New York federal court recently ruled that the discharge of ammonia at a manufacturing plant – causing a facility shutdown for...more

Policy Observer - December 2014

Giving and Receiving: Insuring Company-Sponsored Volunteerism: This is the time of year when we are reminded of the importance of giving. Many companies not only donate generously to nonprofits and community programs,...more

“Voluntary” ? “Obligatory”: Good Deeds Do Not Trigger Coverage

Liability policies typically provide coverage for amounts the insured “become[s] legally obligated to pay”—but they leave open the question of how that obligation should be determined. Judgments and settlements clearly...more

NAIC 2014 Fall National Meeting and Congressional Hearing on Global Standards in Insurance Regulation

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) met for its Fall National Meeting in Washington, D.C. from November 14th through November 19th. As with prior meetings, competition among state, Federal and...more

New York Supreme Court Pro Rata Allocation for MGP Sites on Long Island Clarifies Self-Insured Periods

A New York State trial court judge applied a pro rata time on the risk allocation for pollution from manufactured gas plants on Long Island. Keyspan Gas East Corp. v. Munich Reinsurance America, Inc.,Index No. 604715/1997,...more

NE Supreme Court Issues Insurer-Friendly Decision on the Applicability of the Pollution Exclusion

In interpreting the scope of the pollution exclusion, one question seems to appear in case after case — what exactly does the pollution exclusion exclude? In State Farm Fire & Casualty Company v. Dantzler, 289 Neb. 1 (2014),...more

With Sewers Backing Up, Messy Damage Claims are On the Rise

Many homeowners and other property insurance policies contain an exclusion to address one of the by-products of the increased frequency of severe weather: it bars coverage for property damage caused by “water which backs up...more

If Rainwater Lands Where it Doesn’t Belong, It’s Still “Surface Water” in the Eleventh Circuit

The Eleventh Circuit recently affirmed a decision of the Southern District of Georgia, finding an insured’s claim for water damage fell within an exclusion for loss or damage caused by “surface water.” In Williams v. State...more

What Triggers Excess Coverage In An Environmental Case: Not Necessarily the Payment of the Full Underlying Policy Limits

More and more excess insurers are taking the position that a policyholder which settles with primary or low level excess insurers for less than the full amount of the policy limits has waived its right to obtain coverage from...more

Is There a Duty to Defend Pollution Claims? It’s the Complaint, Stupid

This Spring, cases from Florida and Wisconsin reaffirmed the general proposition that a liability insurer’s duty to defend must be determined from the specific claims in the underlying complaint against the insured, and not...more

Not So Fast: New York’s High Court Relieves Pressure on Liability Carriers to Disclaim Coverage “As Soon As Possible”

Under a New York statute, a liability insurer that denies coverage for a death or bodily injury claim must provide written notice of its decision “as soon as is reasonably possible.” Last year, in Long Island Lighting Co. v....more

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