Insurance RSS

  • April 8, 2014

    Judge Won't Halt Aetna Investor Meeting In Disclosure Suit

    A New York federal judge on Tuesday rejected an Aetna Inc. investor’s bid to delay the health care giant’s upcoming shareholder meeting over concerns about how it reports political contributions.

  • April 7, 2014

    Fla. Senate Panel Clears Citizens Insurance Reform Bill

    A Florida Senate bill that would make changes to Citizens Property Insurance aimed at further depopulating the overextended state-backed insurer passed unanimously out of its first committee Monday.

  • April 7, 2014

    Feds Attack 9/11 Insurers' $6M Windfall From Terrorist

    The U.S. government on Friday criticized a ruling that handed two dozen insurers $6.2 million seized from an al-Qaida affiliate’s commodities brokerage account to defray coverage payouts from the 9/11 attacks, telling the Seventh Circuit that the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act does not trump established forfeiture law.

  • April 7, 2014

    Insurers Win Concessions On Medicare Advantage Rates

    The Obama administration on Monday said Medicare Advantage plans can expect a small payment boost next year instead of a rate cut, a reversal that won modest initial praise from the insurance industry.

  • April 7, 2014

    11th Circ. Urged To Publish Take On Deciding Defense Duty

    The Continental Insurance Co. pressed the Eleventh Circuit on Friday to publish a recent decision — in a policyholder's suit for coverage of underlying injury claims — that recognized an exception to the rule that courts should look only at an underlying complaint to determine an insurer's duty to defend.

  • April 7, 2014

    House Passes Bill To Increase Federal Spending Oversight

    The U.S. House of Representatives on Monday passed a bill to provide more oversight of federal spending, including requiring “fair-value” accounting for federal loan programs, mandating a study of such accounting for federal insurance programs and bringing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into the federal budgeting process.

  • April 7, 2014

    High Court Poised To Set New Bar For Class Action Removal

    In agreeing Monday to referee a jurisdictional fight over an oil and gas royalty class action, experts say, the U.S. Supreme Court has an opportunity to crystallize what evidence defendants must provide to support their bids to transfer cases from state to federal court, potentially affecting a broad swath of disputes ranging from class actions to mass torts.

  • April 7, 2014

    Insurance Group Says Off-Exchange Plans Get Short Shrift

    A health insurance industry group said in a comment letter last week that the Affordable Care Act insurance exchange website does not do enough to promote the availability of insurance plans outside the government’s exchange marketplace.

  • April 7, 2014

    8th Circ. Holds Related Acts Lower Continental's Tab

    The Eighth Circuit ruled Thursday that Continental Casualty Co. did not owe $2 million for claims that a Transamerica Financial Advisors Inc. agent steered clients to unsuitable investments, finding a $1 million limit applied because the underlying litigation involved interrelated wrongful acts.

  • April 7, 2014

    Arthur J. Gallagher Pays $936M For Aussie Insurance Brokers

    Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. has purchased the insurance brokerage units of Wesfarmers Ltd. for about AU$1.01 billion (US$935.7 million), the companies said on Monday, in a deal that bolsters Arthur J. Gallagher's presence in Australia and New Zealand.

  • April 7, 2014

    BofA To Pay $228M To Settle Force-Placed Insurance Case

    Bank of America NA has agreed to pay $228 million to settle a putative class action accusing the bank of overcharging homeowners for force-placed insurance, according to a Thursday filing in Florida federal court.

  • April 7, 2014

    High Court Mulls Class Action Removal In Oil Royalty Row

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday agreed to tackle the question of whether class action defendants must provide additional evidence to support their bids to transfer cases from state to federal court, which stems from a multimillion-dollar dispute over oil and gas royalty payments in Kansas.

  • April 7, 2014

    High Court Won't Hear Appeal Over GM Life Insurance Cuts

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to revive a putative class action by former General Motors Co. employees that claimed Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. improperly reduced their life insurance benefits after the automaker's 2009 bankruptcy.

  • April 4, 2014

    State Farm Must Defend Nonprofit In $85M Defamation Row

    A Virginia federal judge on Friday rejected State Farm Fire and Casualty Co.’s attempt to avoid defending the nonprofit behind Watchdog.org and its Virginia bureau chief in an $85 million defamation suit, ruling the underlying complaint did not trigger an exclusion for acting with knowledge.

  • April 4, 2014

    New HIPAA Tool Means No More Excuses For Lax Security

    A digital tool recently released by federal regulators will make compliance with data-security provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act far easier for smaller businesses, but that helping hand will also remove any excuse for flouting obligations and make scofflaw corporations even more vulnerable to big penalties, experts say.

  • April 4, 2014

    CBO Tells Paul Ryan No More Budget Analyses

    The Congressional Budget Office does not have the staffing or time to analyze proposed amendments to the Republican Party’s 2015 budget proposal, it said on Thursday.

  • April 4, 2014

    House Agrees To Long-Term Budget Review For Major Bills

    The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday passed a bill requiring that all major legislation be assessed for its long-term budgetary, tax and economic impacts, a measure targeted at the alleged negative impacts of legislation such as the Affordable Care Act.

  • April 4, 2014

    2nd Circ. Rules NY Woman Is Barred From Suing Ariz. Insurer

    The Second Circuit on Friday said a woman whose former chiropractor failed to pay a $100,000 judgment after admitting to sexually assaulting her cannot sue his insurer because her state claims are preempted by the Liability Risk Retention Act.

  • April 4, 2014

    Force-Placed Insurance Rate Defense Advances To 2nd Circ.

    Balboa Insurance Co. won permission Thursday to mount a rare interlocutory appeal against a racketeering class action alleging it bribed GMAC Mortgage LLC for the right to provide force-placed hazard coverage, setting up a Second Circuit showdown over whether the suit fails because its premium rates are state-approved.

  • April 4, 2014

    GOP Bill Seeks More Transparency At Financial Risk Council

    A Republican congressman from New Jersey said Thursday he was denied access to a recent meeting of a financial risk oversight group and has subsequently introduced a bill aimed at making the group more transparent.

Expert Analysis

  • NY Court Weighs In On Ambiguous Deductible Terms

    Joseph D. Jean

    A New York court recently rejected argument in Castle Oil Corp. v. Ace American Insurance Co. that an "all perils" flood deductible should be calculated as a percentage of the total value of damaged property. Supported by Florida federal district court decisions after Hurricanes Katrina and Wilma, the ruling suggests that failure to define key terms will incline courts to construe provision ambiguities against insurers, say Joseph Jean and Teresa Lewiat of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP.

  • Maximizing Insurance Recovery After Winter Storms

    Anthony P. Tatum

    The current winter weather season has already become the costliest winter in the U.S. since 2011, and one of the top five costliest winters since 1980. Businesses impacted by this season’s storms should consider a number of steps to maximize the value of their insurance assets, say attorneys at King & Spalding LLP.

  • Additional Insured At Stake In Texas High Court BP Case

    A. Hugh Scott

    The Supreme Court of Texas is poised to clarify the extent of additional insured insurance coverage regarding liabilities arising from oil pollution from the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion. Whatever the court’s determination ends up being, it will have major implications for both the drilling and insurance industries, say A. Hugh Scott and Samantha Krasner of Choate Hall & Stewart LLP.

  • K2 Underscores The Power Of Precedent

    Kevin M. Mattessich

    The New York Court of Appeals' February decision in K2 Investment Group v. American Insurance affirmed that an insurance contract is still subject to the traditional notions of contract law. And maybe more importantly, in vacating its prior decision in the case, the court made an impactful proclamation of the power of stare decisis, say Kevin Mattessich and Todd Kremin of Kaufman Dolowich & Voluck.

  • 6th Circ. Weakens Arbitrary And Capricious ERISA Review

    Michael W. DeWitt

    The Sixth Circuit, in its recent decision in McClain v. Eaton Corp Disability Plan, took pains to dial back the effects of Cozzie v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. At a minimum, the court made it clear that administrators are due “extreme deference” and that their decisions under the arbitrary and capricious standard of review must be upheld as long as they are the result of a principled reasoning process and are supported by substantial evidence, says Michael DeWitt of Fox & Fox Co. LPA.

  • FATCA Regs Come Up Short For P&C Insurance Industry

    William R. Pauls

    The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the IRS recently “pre-released” regulations under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act that provide positive changes for the property and casualty insurance industry. But while the new regulations address certain concerns, they fail to respond to the industry’s two primary comments, say attorneys at Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP.

  • ADR: A Silver Lining In The Legal Industry’s New Normal

    Chris Poole

    The economy has had a marked impact on the alternative dispute resolution industry, but much of that impact comes directly from the new dynamics between law firms and their clients. ADR providers have been keen observers of these trends and are learning to react creatively. It’s not all a bed full of roses from the ADR side, but there have been some positive changes, says Chris Poole of JAMS.

  • Canadian Insurers Burnt By Fla. Bad Faith Laws

    Sean M. McDonough

    A Florida appeals court recently ruled in Betzoldt v. Auto Club Group Insurance Company that Canadian insurers, despite only insuring Canadians, may still be sued for bad faith in Florida. Florida’s bad faith law is significantly more pro-policyholder than its Canadian equivalent, so insurers should be mindful of how the decision could expose them to bad faith jurisprudence, say attorneys at Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP.

  • How To Avoid Discovery Problems While Using The Cloud

    Robert Keeling

    Cloud users must know how to use the cloud responsibly to prevent later difficulties with document production. When negotiating a cloud service agreement, users should look for certain services that will prove useful when responding to discovery requests, such as comprehensive search options, instant suspension of the auto-delete function, and preservation of metadata and embedded data, say attorneys with Sidley Austin LLP.

  • Better Know Bi-Economy Case For NY Consequential Damages

    Michael P. Richter

    As more and more Superstorm Sandy-related cases are filed, parties will be looking to a five-year-old New York Appeals Court case, Bi-Economy Market Inc. v. Harleysville Insurance Co. of New York — which permits insureds to recover consequential damages arising from an insurer’s bad faith breach of the policy if those damages were reasonably foreseeable and even if those damages exceed policy limits — for guidance, says Michael Richter of Joseph Hage Aaronson LLC.