Property

  • March 28, 2024

    Flood Risk Disclosure Law Uptick Offers Insurance Upsides

    A growing trend of states adopting and implementing flood risk disclosure laws must continue, experts say, touting such laws as protecting consumers and informing efforts to mitigate climate change costs through insurance and other risk management efforts.

  • March 28, 2024

    5th Circ. Limits Broad Contract Liability Exclusions In SXSW

    The Fifth Circuit awarded policyholders a major victory over a thorny issue when it ruled that Texas music festival South by Southwest's insurer owed defense coverage for a ticket holder class action over unpaid refunds from the canceled 2020 festival.

  • March 28, 2024

    Mercedes, Insurer Don't Owe Reimbursement For Vehicle Fire

    Mercedes-Benz's North American research arm and its insurer don't owe reimbursement to a commercial real estate operator's insurer for $1 million in damages stemming from a vehicle fire at a testing facility, a Michigan federal judge ruled, finding that Mercedes' insurer issued commercial general liability coverage, not property protection insurance.

  • March 28, 2024

    Insurer's $1.37M Suit Over Stolen Walmart Flare Gun Misfires

    An Oregon federal judge has thrown out a $1.37 million suit from Ascot Specialty Insurance Co. against Walmart Inc. seeking to hold the retailer liable for a fire started by a stolen flare gun, saying the insurer has failed to show how Walmart is responsible for a third party's criminal acts.

  • March 28, 2024

    NC Justices' Split Leaves Willful Violation Question Unsolved

    A dispute over coverage for a law firm accused of violating the Driver's Privacy Protection Act provided an opportunity for the North Carolina Supreme Court to interpret a policy exclusion for the willful violation of a statute, but experts say a deadlocked decision will leave the issue for another day.

  • March 28, 2024

    Insurer Ordered To Defend Legionnaires' Suits

    The insurer of a nonprofit providing housing to at-risk individuals in New York City must defend it in three underlying lawsuits alleging that numerous residents contracted Legionnaires' disease at two properties in the Bronx, a New York federal court ruled, finding a communicable disease exclusion inapplicable.

  • March 27, 2024

    NC Commissioner Says Insurance Mogul's Argument 'Mistaken'

    The North Carolina insurance commissioner asked the state's Supreme Court on Tuesday to allow him to give his take on a group of insurers' lawsuit against embattled mogul Greg Lindberg that alleges he pilfered the insurance companies as owner, saying if the court lets him submit an amicus brief he'll explain how Lindberg's main argument is "mistaken."

  • March 27, 2024

    2nd Circ. Weighs Broadening 'Claim' In Shareholder Dispute

    The Second Circuit questioned Wednesday whether it should use a New York state appeals court ruling to broaden the meaning of "claim" in a propane company's directors and officers policy with a Liberty Mutual unit, including not just an entire underlying lawsuit but the individual causes of action within.

  • March 26, 2024

    Insurer's Intervention In Sex-Trafficking Coverage Suit Limited

    Starr Indemnity & Liability Co. can intervene in another insurer's suit against a hospitality company over coverage for sex trafficking allegations, but only if the other carrier's policy isn't rescinded and the case proceeds to a second phase of litigation, a Texas federal court has ruled.

  • March 26, 2024

    UK Marine Insurer Investigating Baltimore Bridge Crash

    Britannia, a British marine insurer, confirmed Tuesday that it is working with authorities in Baltimore after a container ship destroyed the city's landmark Francis Scott Key Bridge in a collision that experts say is likely to cost the insurance sector billions of dollars in claims.

  • March 25, 2024

    No Coverage for Pa. ATV Accident, Insurer Says

    Truck Insurance Exchange has told a Pennsylvania state court it should owe no coverage to a policyholder facing a personal injury suit over an all-terrain vehicle accident, saying the policyholder's insurance agent "intentionally" failed to disclose the accident before Truck issued the policy.

  • March 22, 2024

    Insurer Urges 9th Circ. To Reverse LA Port Co.'s Defense Win

    United National Insurance Co. urged the Ninth Circuit on Friday to reverse a ruling that the insurer was obligated to defend a Los Angeles port company against pollution claims brought by the city, saying the lower court erroneously failed to enforce the policy's qualified pollution exclusion.

  • March 21, 2024

    AI Presents Risk To Insurers And Policyholders, Panelists Say

    The growing use of artificial intelligence presents a risk to both insurers and insureds, experts said during a webinar Thursday, advising policyholders and their attorneys on how to navigate novel issues arising from the use of AI in the insurance industry.

  • March 21, 2024

    Calif. Panel Revives Diner's COVID Sanitization Coverage Bid

    A California state appeals court revived a diner's bid for property insurance coverage of COVID-19 losses after it determined the restaurant credibly alleged direct physical losses and that the policy's language covering losses attributable to a virus applied to COVID-19 sanitization efforts.

  • March 21, 2024

    2nd Circ. To Weigh 'Claim' Meaning In Family Share Dispute

    The Second Circuit on Wednesday will hear arguments over whether a New York federal court erred in finding that a contract exclusion barred any duty a Liberty Mutual unit had to defend a propane company and two of its executives in a family shareholder dispute.

  • March 21, 2024

    6 Questions For ZestyAI CEO Attila Toth

    As California regulators push proposals aimed at luring back insurance companies to the state's challenged market, advanced modeling techniques have taken a prominent place in the debate over how to best price risk as traditional methods lose relevance. Here, Law360 talks to Attila Toth, chief executive officer of ZestyAI, a risk modeling company that sells artificial intelligence-based risk models to insurers seeking to refine their risk assessment capabilities.

  • March 21, 2024

    Insurance Litigation Week In Review

    The U.S. Supreme Court considered the NRA's free speech rights and whether an insurer had standing in bankruptcy court, Geico was slammed with a $164 million payout, the Sixth Circuit seemed hesitant to force Amway to pay its own defense costs and Metallica's COVID-19 coverage case faded to black.

  • March 21, 2024

    Calif. Regulators' Pitch On Insurance Reform Draws Scrutiny

    Two regulations proposed to help lure insurers back to California's market by speeding up the state's rate approvals and allowing insurers to use catastrophe models to set rates are drawing scrutiny as industry and consumer groups weigh their potential effects.

  • March 21, 2024

    Sanitizer Co. Faces Tough Ad Injury Coverage Bid In 2nd Circ.

    A company accused of falsely advertising that its sanitizing products were effective in disinfecting surfaces faces an uphill battle, experts say, as the Second Circuit is poised to hear oral arguments Monday over whether the company is owed coverage under its commercial general liability policy for an underlying class action.

  • March 19, 2024

    8th Circ. Won't Rethink Mo. City's COVID-19 Coverage Loss

    The Eighth Circuit shot down a Missouri city's request to reconsider a panel ruling denying its request for coverage of sales tax revenue losses stemming from pandemic-related shutdowns, rejecting the city's argument that the panel misinterpreted policy terms and skewed its review in favor of the insurer.

  • March 18, 2024

    Justices Tilt Toward NRA In Free Speech Row With Regulator

    A cautious U.S. Supreme Court seemed poised Monday to rule in favor of the National Rifle Association in a case over allegations that a former New York state official pressured financial institutions to cut ties to the National Rifle Association in violation of its free speech rights.

  • March 18, 2024

    Colo. HOA Not Covered In Travelers Repair Payment Row

    A Colorado federal judge ruled a Travelers unit doesn't have a duty to defend or indemnify a Denver homeowners association seeking coverage for a dispute with a different Travelers unit that alleged it overpaid for a hailstorm property damage claim.

  • March 18, 2024

    Chicago Can Keep $26M Willis Tower Suit In Federal Court

    A federal judge in Illinois has declined to send a $26 million lawsuit against the City of Chicago over rain damage at Willis Tower back to state court, finding the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago acts under federal authority in maintaining the minimum water levels dictated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

  • March 15, 2024

    U. Of Wash. Opposes Question Cert. In COVID Coverage Suit

    The University of Washington's board of regents urged a state court to reject a Liberty Mutual unit's motion to certify COVID-19 coverage questions to a state appeals court, pointing to the Washington Supreme Court's previous rejection of such a move in a separate case that similarly involved pleadings-stage coverage claims.

  • March 15, 2024

    Wash. Justices Affirm Condo's Roof Damage Coverage Win

    A resulting loss exception in a condominium complex's policy with Farmers Insurance Exchange preserves coverage for damage caused by potentially covered perils, such as condensation and water vapor, even though the loss resulted from excluded faulty workmanship, the Washington Supreme Court unanimously ruled.

Expert Analysis

  • Cultivating Good Relationships With Insurance Regulators

    Excerpt from Practical Guidance
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    Insurers can develop mutually beneficial working relationships with insurance regulators by following some simple tips for streamlining communication, knowing how and when to ask for help, and treating regulatory staff with professional courtesy, says Layna Rush at Baker Donelson.

  • How Ohio Software Ruling Implicates Crypto Insurance Claims

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    The Ohio Supreme Court's recent decision in EMOI Services v. Owners Insurance, holding that software can never be physically damaged, has limited precedential value for property claims, but serious implications for cases involving loss or damage to intangible assets like cryptocurrency and non-fungible tokens, say Jane Warring and Shannon O’Malley at Zelle.

  • Courts Should Reject Mandatory Arbitration In Insurance Suits

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    The case of Friends of Young Audiences v. Certain Underwriters, currently before a Louisiana federal court, is one of several pending opportunities for courts to support policyholder rights by declining to enforce mandatory arbitration provisions in insurance contracts, say Christopher Kuleba and Maria Castro Sanchez at Reed Smith.

  • What To Expect In Builder's Risk Insurance Claims In 2023

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    The builder's risk insurance industry is in store for more complex claims this year due to rising interest rates, labor and materials volatility, and externalities complicating project scheduling, say Jane Warring at Zelle and Michael Haugen at J.S. Held.

  • Learning From This Year's Legal Industry Discrimination Suits

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    To limit the risk of lawsuits and make the workplace a more welcoming environment for female attorneys, it is important to reflect on lawyers' recent discrimination and sexual harassment claims against law firms and public employers, says Hope Comisky at Griesing Law.

  • More Stringent Calif. Claim Law Could Benefit Policyholders

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    Although a new California statute that imposes additional requirements for policyholder presuit demands — effective Jan. 1 — was ostensibly passed as a bad faith liability shield for insurers, used correctly it may provide a more specific road map for plaintiff recovery, says Shanti Eagle at Farella Braun.

  • Hard Insurance Market Will Influence Legal Industry, Economy

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    As the cost of claims starts to outstrip the value of premiums, insurers are denying more claims and considering scaling back coverage, leading to an influx of legal work and potential holes in the market, says Bruce Hepburn at Mactavish.

  • Check This List Twice: 4 Steps To Abate Coverage Concerns

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    This holiday season give your company the gift of following easy administrative steps to avoid the far-too-common clerical errors that could lead to forfeited insurance coverage, say Vivek Chopra and Mattison Kim at Perkins Coie.

  • Lessons On Notice From 7th Circ. Claims-Made Policy Ruling

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    The Seventh Circuit's recent decision in Hanover Insurance v. R.W. Dunteman contains broad lessons for policyholders — as many claims-made policies include similar aggregation and claims notice provisions as the one at issue — on how to preserve coverage, say Brian Scarbrough and Maura Smyles at Jenner & Block.

  • Fla. Insurance Suit Trends To Look Out For After Hurricane Ian

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    There will likely be tens of thousands of property insurance lawsuits filed in the wake of Hurricane Ian, and carriers and insureds will need to view claims through Florida's Valued Policy Law, the concurrent cause doctrine and anti-concurrent cause provisions, say David Levin and Spencer Leach at Baker Donelson.

  • Property Policies Could Cover Organized Retail Crime Losses

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    Following a recent surge in organized retail crime, policyholders can look to case law that suggests they may be able to skirt property policy loss exclusions if they can produce evidence of theft, says Micah Skidmore at Haynes Boone.

  • Policyholders Are Not To Blame For Social Inflation

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    As part of the controversial assertion that insurers are facing an unprecedented increase in claims costs due to so-called social inflation, a recent Law360 guest article argued that policyholders contribute to social inflation and are therefore responsible for remedying it, but these accusations are unsupported by empirical data, says Benjamin Tievsky at Pillsbury.

  • How A Publication Request Helped Shape COVID Case Law

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    More than a decade after MRI Healthcare v. State Farm was decided in a California state appeals court, the case influenced the early development of COVID-19 business interruption insurance law and shows how counsel can use publication requests to help shape the industry, say Josephine Petrick and Ashley Nakai at Hanson Bridgett.

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