Umbrella Policies

News & Analysis as of

Supreme Court of Delaware Decides Long-Standing Dispute in Viking Pump Action

The Supreme Court of Delaware issued its decision in the long-standing dispute in In re Viking Pump, Inc. and Warren Pumps, LLC. The appeal arose out of several rulings in the Court of Chancery and after a jury trial in the...more

Excess Insurer Can Sue Primary for Failing to Settle Within Limits Even Without Entry of Excess Judgment

In Ace American Ins. Co. v. Fireman's Fund Ins. Co. (No. B264861, filed 8/5/16), a California appeals court held that an excess insurer that contributes to the settlement of an underlying case due to the primary insurer’s...more

Tenth Circuit Drills Down Into Roots Of Moral Hazard, Comes Up Dry

Moral hazard (one of this blog’s preoccupations) usually comes up in disputes over the scope of coverage under an insurance policy. But state legislatures often address it, too—for example, by imposing limits on agreements...more

New York High Court Applies All Sums Allocation To Long-Tail Claims Under Certain Insurance Policies

The New York Court of Appeals recently answered two certified questions from the Delaware Supreme Court concerning insurance allocation, and the Court’s answers may impact significantly policyholders litigating “long-tail”...more

New York’s Highest Court Rules in Favor of “All Sums” and Vertical Attachment in Certified Question from Delaware Supreme Court

In the recent decision of Viking Pump, Inc., et al. v. TIG Insurance Co., et al., 2016 N.Y. LEXIS 1018 (N.Y. May 3, 2016), the New York Court of Appeals (New York’s highest court), on questions certified by the Delaware...more

Eighth Circuit Holds Insureds’ Miller-Shugart Agreement Breached Policy’s Cooperation Clause

In its recent decision in American Family Mut. Ins. Co. v. Donaldson, 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 7499 (8th Cir. Apr. 26, 2016), the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, applying Minnesota law, had occasion to...more

How General is “General Aggregate?”

Although the terms are often used interchangeably, there are several key differences between umbrella and excess coverage. One such distinction is that an umbrella policy can apply to multiple underlying policies. This makes...more

Eighth Circuit Holds No Coverage for Property Manager’s Mold Remediation Efforts

In its recent decision in Busch Properties, Inc. v. National Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh, PA, 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 3174 (8th Cir. Feb. 24, 2016), the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, applying...more

Court Rules In Favor Of An Attorney Regarding Claims Arising From A Conflict of Interest

In Fitts v. Richards-Smith, three brothers were riding in a car when the car hit another vehicle properly stopped in the road. 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 1542 (Tex. App.—Texarkana February 17, 2016, no pet. history). The driver was...more

Insure Your Risk as an Airbnb Host

As Bay Area residents prepared for thousands of football fans and media to descend on their region for the Super Bowl, one began to hear the sorts of rumblings that typically precede big events. Traffic will be terrible....more

What is the Meaning of…..

In Rigby v Allstate Indemnity Company, (Maryland Court of Special Appeals, No. 0263, September 30, 2015, Krauser, C.J.) the intermediate appellate court (the “Court”) was called upon to decide a case of first impression in...more

Appellate Court Notes

Appellate Court Advance Release Opinions: AC36382, AC36387 - Hilton v. Commissioner of Correction - AC36922 - Nationwide Mutual Ins. Co. v. Pasiak - This was Round Three of a case previously reported on. An...more

Understanding CIPs, Builder’s Risk, and Inland Marine Insurance Policies

Part of Bradley Arant’s Policyholder Insurance Coverage Team’s six-part Maximize Your Company's Insurance Coverage Webinar Series, the “Understanding CIPs, Builder’s Risk, and Inland Marine Insurance Policies” webinar, led by...more

Summary of California Appellate Decisions -August 2015

Insurance; Duty To Defend; Insurance Coverage; Intentional Acts; Sexual Misconduct - Gonzalez v. Fire Insurance Exchange (2015) 234 Cal.App.4th 1220, 184 Cal.Rptr.3d 394 (WL 960927) - Facts: This is an...more

Maximizing Insurance Recovery for the Tianjin Port Explosions

On Wednesday, August 12, 2015, two massive explosions devastated large swaths of Tianjin, China, an industrial powerhouse and home to one of the world’s busiest ports. The explosions, which reportedly have killed more than a...more

Insurers Take Notice: Don’t Become a Casualty of Trade Sanctions Violations!

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced that Navigators Insurance Company, which is headquartered in New York and specializes in marine insurance and related lines of business,...more

Fifth Circuit Predicts When the Texas Prompt Pay Act Begins to Accrue

In a recent decision, the Fifth Circuit considered when the 18 percent damages interest under the Texas Prompt Payment of Claims Act (Prompt Pay Act) accrues and whether an insurer can waive a policy’s one-year cost reporting...more

Court Limits Discovery Of Insurer’s Policies With Other Insureds, Compels Production Of Prior Arbitration Testimony

Utica Mutual Insurance Company (“Utica”) sued R&Q Reinsurance Company (“R&Q) in New York federal court for payment under reinsurance certificates R&Q issued to Utica covering umbrella policies Utica issued to its insured,...more

Connecticut Supreme Court’s Insurer-Friendly Decision on Data Breach Incident

On January 27, 2014, the Sedgwick Insurance Law Blog posted the following summary entitled, “ Highway Data Dump – Who are You Going to Call to Recover $6 Million?,” addressing the appellate decision in Recall Total Info....more

Court Finds Potential for Personal Umbrella Coverage of Sexual Assault Not Covered by Underlying Homeowners Policy

In Gonzalez v. Fire Insurance Exchange (No. H039368, filed 2/5/15), a California appeals court ruled that a personal umbrella policy's broader coverage gave rise to a duty to defend sexual molestation allegations that were...more

Sixth Circuit Finds Excess Carrier Had Duty to Indemnify Insured for Property Damage Arising From Alleged Misrepresentations and...

In a decisively pro-policyholder decision issued by the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in IMG Worldwide, Inc. v. Westchester Fire Ins. Co., Nos. 13-3832, 13-3837 (6th Cir. July 15, 2014), the court...more

Court Finds Communications With Reinsurers Discoverable In Coverage Dispute

A federal court in Minnesota determined that an umbrella insurer’s communications with its reinsurers are discoverable in a coverage dispute. The case is titled National Union v. Donaldson Co., and the focus is on the scope...more

Court Construes Disputed Insurance Policy Language And Requires Reinsurer To Follow The Settlements

The case involved two facultative reinsurance contracts, each of which covered excess liability for similar umbrella liability insurance policies, and each of which contained a “follow the settlements” provision. After the...more

Insurance Recovery Law

Horizontal Exhaustion Not Required for Excess Policies in New York - Why it matters: A Delaware superior court recently predicted that New York’s highest court would not require policyholders to horizontally...more

Court Refuses Discovery Of Communications With Reinsurers Because Policy Term Was Not Ambiguous

Reinsurance communications were held not discoverable in a commercial coverage dispute. By way of background, PBM Products, LLC sued its competitors, Mead Johnson Nutrition Company and Mead Johnson & Company, for allegedly...more

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