Environmental Insurance

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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

World Economic Forum – Release of the Global Risks Report

Each year the World Economic Forum (WEF) is held in January in Davos, Switzerland. The WEF has released its Global Risks Report. The report is prepared by the WEF with its strategic partners Marsh & McLennan Companies and...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

Wisconsin Supreme Court Holds Pollution Exclusion Applicable to Cow Manure Claims

In its recent decision in Wilson Mut. Ins. Co. v. Falk, 2014 WI 136, the Wisconsin Supreme Court had occasion had occasion to consider whether cow manure generated at a dairy farm, and which migrates from the insured’s...more

Fracking Bans Don't Trigger Civil Authority Coverage

On Nov. 4, 2014, voters in Denton, Texas, which is home to more than 270 natural gas wells, approved a ballot initiative banning all hydraulic fracturing within the city’s limits. The Denton ban, which took effect on Dec. 2,...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

New Pilot Program for Climate-Related Projects: Insurance for Energy Savings - The Mission of the Global Innovation Lab for...

"Insurance for Energy Savings" is one of four ideas selected on Oct. 20, 2014, for refinement, stress-testing and preparation of a pilot program by the Global Innovation Lab for Climate Finance. The Lab was launched in June...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

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House provides a high-level overview of recent activity at the Maine State House. Gubernatorial Nominations Being Announced, Senate Confirmation Session Set - Over the past...more

2014 Comprehensive Report

Historically, the “Short Session” of the North Carolina General Assembly focuses on state budget corrections and adjustments. Frequently, legislators will also work on additional legislation while they are in Raleigh. This...more

Be Careful With Pollution Insurance Coverage Disclosures – How Conditions Actually Disclosed Were Deemed Not Disclosed

A Massachusetts company learned the hard way that you need to pay close attention to policy endorsements when you negotiate them. In Market Forge Industries, Inc. v. Indian Harbor Insurance Company, the Appeals Court of...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

If the Suit Fits: A Washington Court Clarifies Triggers for the Duty to Defend

Like many other federal and state environmental laws, Washington’s Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA) exposes property owners to strict liability, regardless of fault or intent, for certain types of environmental contamination. ...more

Washington Insurance Law 2014 Mid-Year Update

During the first six months of 2014, Washington judges issued several notable insurance-related decisions. Some of those decisions were favorable to insurers and could benefit insurers in future insurance claims and lawsuits...more

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