NY Insurers May Benefit From Lower Disclaimer Standard

Law360, New York (July 17, 2014, 10:56 AM EDT) -- Recently, the New York Court of Appeals ruled on whether the statutory requirement for issuing timely disclaimers applied to environmental claims and whether insurers effectively waived their late notice defenses in failing to issue the disclaimer sooner. In ruling that the heightened standard for issuing a disclaimer under New York's Insurance Law did not apply to the subject claims, New York's highest court confirmed that the "as soon as reasonably possible" requirement contained in the statute was limited to bodily injury and death claims, as opposed to property damage or environmental claims. However, practitioners should be mindful of the potential for waiver or estoppel under the common law if it is perceived that the insurer abandoned its defense....

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