• May 14, 2015

    5 Insurance Battlegrounds To Watch In Texas

    The Texas Supreme Court will soon decide whether two terms common in commercial general liability policy exclusions are ambiguous, a decision that experts say could affect coverage disputes over the replacement of defective products, while courts across the state consider other hotly contested cases. Here, attorneys discuss five issues in the Lone Star State to keep an eye on.

  • May 14, 2015

    Fla. Justices' Bad Faith Ruling Gives Citizens Upper Hand

    The Florida Supreme Court ruled Thursday that state-backed insurer Citizens Property Insurance Corp. is immune from bad faith claims, in a decision that attorneys say will cost policyholders a bargaining chip in their dealings with the company and make Citizens less accountable than private insurers for how it handles claims.

  • May 14, 2015

    Noble Fights Defense Duty In ConocoPhillips Oil Pollution Row

    Noble Energy Inc. has asked a Texas appeals court to reconsider its finding that the company owes ConocoPhillips Co. a duty of defense and indemnity over oil contamination in Louisiana, arguing that the panel improperly interpreted the parties' asset purchase agreement and ignored language limiting Noble's liability.

  • May 14, 2015

    US Fire Tries To Duck $10M Madoff Coverage In Appeal

    U.S. Fire Insurance Co. on Thursday asked a New York appeals court to let it off the hook for roughly $10 million that affiliates of a family investment office sunk into Bernard L. Madoff's Ponzi scheme, arguing the policy at issue doesn’t cover losses stemming from Madoff’s activities as a securities broker.

  • May 14, 2015

    Judge Wants Payout Info On Ocwen $140M Force-Placed Deal

    A proposed $140 million settlement of a suit alleging Ocwen Financial Corp. and Assurant Inc. ran a kickback scheme involving force-placed insurance hit a snag Wednesday, when a Florida magistrate judge ordered the disclosure of how much money class members would actually receive. 

  • May 14, 2015

    Insurer Defends $100M Storm Coverage Payout In 2nd Circ.

    An attorney for American Family Mutual Insurance Co. told the Second Circuit on Thursday it should not be required to return $100 million to a reinsurer stemming from losses in a 2011 storm, denying allegations that the payout was inflated in breach of a contract.

  • May 14, 2015

    Zurich Still Ducks Coverage In Revised $8M Junk-Fax Ruling

    An Illinois appeals court reiterated its decision that freed two Zurich American Insurance Co. units from indemnity for an $8 million settlement in a fax spamming class action after it was ordered to reconsider by the state's supreme court.

  • May 14, 2015

    Congress Left Lifetime Caps For Retiree Plans, Judge Says

    Congress did not intend for the Affordable Care Act to remove lifetime benefit caps for retiree health care plans, a California federal judge ruled Wednesday in a case where a retiree’s wife racked up more than $1 million in medical bills.

  • May 14, 2015

    Nationwide To Pay $8M To Settle SEC Order-Delay Claims

    A Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. unit will pay an $8 million fine to the nation's securities regulator for intentionally pushing back certain securities orders by one day in spite of its promise to fulfill them at the current day's price, the agency said Thursday. 

  • May 14, 2015

    Deals Rumor Mill: Avon, Advent, Standard Chartered

    The SEC is looking into an apparent sham takeover offer made for cosmetics company Avon, while Advent International has plans to back its acquisition of Dutch conveyor belt company Ammeraal Beltech with leveraged loans totaling about $343 million.

  • May 14, 2015

    NJ Lawmakers Float Extensive Rules For Doctors, Insurers

    Four New Jersey lawmakers announced Thursday they’ve introduced legislation that would impose new regulations on health care providers and insurance companies in the state, requiring them to prewarn patients of out-of-network costs related to medical procedures.

  • May 14, 2015

    Insurer Says Firm Not Covered For Botched Visa Row

    An insurer of immigration law firm Bloomfield & Kempf LLP asked an Ohio federal court Wednesday to declare that it doesn’t have to defend the firm in litigation alleging it botched the extension of an Indian man’s temporary work visa.

  • May 14, 2015

    UPMC Says Highmark Deal Lets It End Medicaid Contracts

    The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center has urged a Pennsylvania judge to rule that it did not lose the right to ax a series of Medicare Advantage contracts with Highmark Inc. under two state-brokered consent decrees the parties signed last year as part of an ongoing feud.

  • May 13, 2015

    Bankrupt San Bernardino Bondholders Can't Tie CalPERS Pay

    A California bankruptcy judge on Tuesday tossed a suit by a Luxemburg bank and insurer Ambac Assurance Corp. bondholders for bankrupt San Bernardino, rejecting their bid to get paid simultaneously with the city’s biggest creditor: the California Public Employees Retirement System.

  • May 13, 2015

    State Farm Seeks To Ax Property Damage Class Action

    State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. on Tuesday urged an Arizona federal court to scrap a putative class action lodged by policyholders accusing the insurer of violating state law by systemically undervaluing actual cash value payments, asserting that it has complied with its obligations under the plaintiffs' policies and state law.

  • May 13, 2015

    Surety Co. Says Two Firms Turned Against It Mid-Case

    Pinnacle Surety Services Inc. slung a legal malpractice suit at two Midwest law firms Wednesday in Kentucky federal court, saying lawyers at the firms helped it settle claims that it poached two employees from a Wells Fargo & Co. unit, and then began concurrently representing the same employees in litigation against it.

  • May 13, 2015

    Ind. Justices Ax County's Courthouse Fire Subrogation Claim

    Jefferson County, Indiana, can't assert a subrogation claim against several construction contractors to recover damages caused to the county courthouse in a devastating fire, the state high court ruled Wednesday, holding that the county had waived its claim because it has a property insurance policy that covered all damages to the building.

  • May 13, 2015

    11th Circ. Told To Nix BofA $228M Force-Placed Insurance Deal

    Two members of a settled class action accusing Bank of America NA of accusing the bank of overcharging homeowners for force-placed insurance told the Eleventh Circuit on Tuesday that the $228 million deal shouldn’t have been approved because the settlement amount is illusory.

  • May 13, 2015

    3 Firms Guide $905M London Office Tower Deal

    Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP steered Cathay Life Insurance Co. Ltd.'s £575 million ($905.27 million) purchase of a mixed-use London property from investment group Minerva Ltd., which was advised by Mishcon de Reya and Olswang LLP, the seller said Tuesday.

  • May 13, 2015

    Ocwen, Assurant's $140M Force-Placed Deal Draws Objections

    Two members of a federal class action in Florida objected Tuesday to a proposed $140 million settlement with Ocwen Financial Corp. and Assurant Inc. over an alleged kickback scheme involving force-placed insurance, questioning how that amount was reached and how it will be disbursed.

Expert Analysis

  • How To Weather Media Inquiries In High-Profile Cases

    Jolie Balido

    Avoid using “no comment” in response to a question or statement from reporters. Some reporters, particularly TV news reporters, are simply trying to elicit a reaction for a quick visual and aren’t particularly concerned with the actual answer, says Jolie Balido, president of marketing communications firm Roar Media.

  • Practical D&O Insurance Considerations For PE Firms

    Ari Berman

    Private equity funds should carefully examine the definition of “claim” in their directors and officers policies to ensure that it extends to subpoenas and investigative orders issued by government agencies. Meanwhile, the portfolio company’s D&O insurance plays a slightly different role in the various stages of the private equity firm’s investment in the company, say Ari Berman and Sarah Mitchell of Vinson & Elkins LLP.

  • Broker-Dealers — New Targets Of Unclaimed Property Audits

    Wilson G. Barmeyer

    Following on the heels of multimillion-dollar settlements involving more than 20 large life insurance companies, unclaimed property auditors have shifted their focus to the securities industry, including insurance-affiliated broker-dealers. In this new round of audits, it is likely that states and auditors will attempt to fill gaps in legal authority with interpretations in their favor, say attorneys with Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP.

  • Testimony On Fighting Health Fraud Tells Of Digital Tools

    Scott R. Grubman

    The main takeaway from recent testimony on monitoring and combating health care fraud before the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight is that the government is continuing to focus on the use of data analytics and technology to move away from the old “pay-and-chase” model of fraud enforcement, says Scott Grubman of Chilivis Cochran Larkins & Bever LLP.

  • Texas Court Talks Insurance And Actual Cash Value

    Shannon M. O'Malley

    Texas courts look to a variety of factors to determine what evidence should be considered by a jury in determining a property’s actual cash value. Greenspoint Investors Ltd. v. Travelers Lloyds Insurance Co. addressed this issue and provides guidance concerning application of a policy’s actual cash value coverage, says Shannon O'Malley of Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason LLP.

  • 6th Circ. Rejection Of Disgorgement Brings ERISA Relief

    Patrick C. DiCarlo

    With the Sixth Circuit’s majority opinion in Rochow v. Life Insurance Company of America, Employee Retirement Income Security Act stakeholders can breathe easy since the dissent’s view would have created the possibility of a retroactive, prohibited transaction and caused dramatic changes to how insured and self-funded plans handle reserves for disputed claims, say Patrick DiCarlo and Emily Hootkins of Alston & Bird LLP.

  • AG 48: Reserve Financing’s Modest Revolution

    Keith Andruschak

    While the version of Actuarial Guideline 48 that was adopted by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners' Principle-Based Reserving Implementation Task Force is still a work in progress, it should provide stakeholders more clarity on financings in the life sector than they have seen at anytime since these structures came under intense scrutiny in 2011, says Keith Andruschak of Mayer Brown LLP.

  • Playing In Peoria: Hospital Exclusive Dealing Case Proceeds

    Dionne Lomax

    In Peoria, Illinois, a small hospital’s antitrust suit alleging illegal exclusive dealing and attempted monopolization against its largest competitor — Methodist Health Svcs. Corp. v. OFS Healthcare System — has the potential to create important precedent and guidance regarding the use of exclusive contracts, particularly when employed by parties with market power, says Dionne Lomax of Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo PC.

  • 5 Insurance Tips For Deal Makers

    Micah E. Skidmore

    Insurance terms may be treated as boilerplate when, in fact, the circumstances of a particular transaction may warrant a more nuanced approach. In order to avoid future disputes, fulfill the intents and expectations of the parties, and add value to the transaction, corporate counsel should be familiar with five tips, says Micah Skidmore of Haynes and Boone LLP.

  • Ensuring Prompt Insurance Payments In Germanwings Tragedy

    Robert Alpert Sr.

    If Lufthansa and its insurers follow the Air Florida and Pan Am/Lockerbie process of compensating the families of victims of Germanwings Flight 9525 then it would be devastating to all parties. The issue then becomes one of prompt compensation for the families of the victims, especially since the airline apparently knew of the co-pilot’s mental instability and still cleared him to fly, says Robert Alpert Sr. of Morris Manning & Martin LLP.