Specialty Lines

  • March 07, 2024

    Texas Wildfires Strike Underinsured Agricultural Sector

    A series of Texas wildfires including one estimated to be the worst in the state's history are underscoring the increasing risk of severe natural catastrophes to underinsured populations and insurance markets already under stress, experts say.

  • March 07, 2024

    Anti-Fraud Tool At Risk In 8th Circ. Billing Row, Carriers Say

    Insurers' ability to enter agreements that limit billings with healthcare providers, which they contend help combat insurance fraud, is up in the air in Minnesota as the Eighth Circuit gears up to hear arguments Thursday over whether such agreements violate a state law guaranteeing prompt automobile accident insurance payouts.

  • March 07, 2024

    Towers Watson Insurers Off Hook For $90M Merger Coverage

    Towers Watson's insurers do not need to cover settlements totaling $90 million in two shareholder suits stemming from the company's merger with Willis, a Virginia federal judge ruled, saying the transaction was barred by a so-called bump-up exclusion.

  • March 07, 2024

    Women In Insurance Law On Breaking Down Barriers

    Building a better environment for women in the legal industry starts from the top, women in insurance law told Law360. To mark International Women's Day, both junior and senior women attorneys share their experiences in the industry and offer words of advice.

  • March 05, 2024

    Calif. Justice Asks Why COVID Triggers Insurance But Not Flu

    A California Supreme Court justice appeared skeptical during a hearing Tuesday that COVID-19's presence fulfills the "physical loss or damage" requirement in commercial property insurance policies under Golden State law, questioning whether COVID-19 is different from the flu with respect to property coverage and calling asbestos litigation "far afield."

  • March 05, 2024

    NC Panel Says Co. Can't Intervene In Insurer Liquidation

    A holding company owned by insurance mogul Greg Lindberg shouldn't have been allowed to intervene in the North Carolina insurance commissioner's liquidation of two insolvent insurers, a state appeals court held Tuesday, saying only a company's directors are permitted to do so under state law.

  • March 04, 2024

    Insurer Wants Trade Secret Suit Dropped Sans Atty Fee Award

    A dental health insurer asked a Washington federal judge on Monday to toss its trade secret claims against an ex-executive without leeway for her to request legal fees, arguing that she can't be considered a winning party because she handed over a company laptop after being hit with the suit.

  • March 04, 2024

    5th Circ. Says Hurricane Coverage Battle Must Be Arbitrated

    A Louisiana property owner and its eight domestic insurers must arbitrate the owner's claims that they mishandled and delayed paying its Hurricane Laura property damage claim in bad faith, the Fifth Circuit ruled Monday, reversing a district court's decision that found an arbitration provision at issue unenforceable.

  • March 04, 2024

    States, Scholars Back Ex-NY Official In NRA Free Speech Suit

    States, scholars and public officials have urged the U.S. Supreme Court to reject the National Rifle Association's contention that a former New York state official violated the group's First Amendment rights.

  • March 01, 2024

    11th Circ. Revives Alabama Life Insurance Class Action

    An Eleventh Circuit panel on Friday revived a South Carolina man's Alabama class action alleging his life insurer's costs on his $100,000 policy weren't linked to life expectancy, though the policy said they would be.

  • February 29, 2024

    9th Circ. Sends COVID-19 Coverage Row Back To Tribal Court

    A Ninth Circuit panel unanimously affirmed the Suquamish Tribal Court's jurisdiction over a COVID-19 coverage dispute, finding in a published opinion Thursday that although the tribe's insurers weren't present on its land, a consensual business relationship means tribal law applies.

  • February 29, 2024

    Insurance Litigation Week In Review

    The Texas Supreme Court found that a handful of insurers may be on the hook for a $220 million bankruptcy settlement, while another state Supreme Court said it will take on underpayment claims against Geico, as insurance experts heed emerging privacy risks and prepare for more PFAS litigation. Here, Law360 takes a look at this week's top insurance news.

  • February 29, 2024

    Valencia Fire Renews Concerns Over Materials, Insurance

    A deadly apartment fire in Valencia, Spain, is drawing renewed attention to the use of flammable materials on building exteriors, a global problem that insurance experts say implicates complicated webs of liability and a need for strong government oversight.

  • February 29, 2024

    Texas Justices' Unusual Remedy Presents A Win For Insurers

    The Texas Supreme Court handed several carriers a victory in its ruling that a $220 million settlement between now-bankrupt Cobalt International Energy Inc. and its investors is not binding on the energy company's insurers to establish coverage, a decision notable for the unusual relief granted by the state justices, experts say.

  • February 29, 2024

    New AI Risks Pressure Policyholders To Fill Coverage Gaps

    Growing scrutiny from the public and regulators in the U.S. over artificial intelligence use and rising threats of AI-enabled schemes are sending insurance experts scrambling to evaluate their coverage options in a rapidly changing risk environment.

  • February 29, 2024

    Auto Co. Says $50M Policy Endorsement Covers COVID Loss

    An auto parts manufacturer is seeking $50 million in coverage for its COVID-19 pandemic-related losses in North Carolina federal court, claiming its policy's "unique" communicable disease provision was misrepresented when its insurer denied coverage for losses at its Indiana, Ohio, Michigan and North Carolina locations.

  • February 29, 2024

    SVB Parent's Counsel Booted From Fraud Coverage Row

    The bankrupt parent company of Silicon Valley Bank cannot use Farella Braun & Martel LLP as counsel in litigation over the parent company's claims that it alone must be covered for a fraud scheme that caused over $73 million in losses, a North Carolina federal court ruled.

  • February 28, 2024

    BASF Says Insurers Owe Coverage For PFAS Suits

    Major chemical manufacturer BASF Corp. told a South Carolina court Wednesday that 23 insurers should cover thousands of lawsuits that alleged a chemical the company produced for firefighting foam caused pollution and injuries.

  • February 27, 2024

    Egg Co. Not Covered For Avian Flu Losses, Minn. Judge Says

    A Markel unit does not owe coverage to an egg supplier for losses it sustained due to an avian flu outbreak in 2022, a Minnesota federal judge ruled Tuesday, finding that a communicable disease exclusion in a site pollution and environmental policy precluded coverage.

  • February 26, 2024

    Atty's Letter Is Not A Claim For Damages, Del. Justices Rule

    An attorney's presuit letter claiming that Syngenta's herbicide Paraquat caused his clients' Parkinson's disease does not constitute a "claim for damages" under the company's insurance policies with a pair of Zurich units, the Delaware Supreme Court ruled Monday.

  • February 26, 2024

    Ex-Bank CFO Cops To $700K Theft And Life Insurance Scam

    An ex-Eastern International Bank chief financial officer has pled guilty to defrauding the bank out of more than $700,000 to pay his personal expenses, and he admitted to opening life insurance policies in the names of bank employees to benefit his wife, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

  • February 26, 2024

    Colo. Justices To Hear If Insurers Can Withhold Some Payouts

    The Colorado Supreme Court said Monday it will consider whether the state's insurance code allowed Geico, following unsuccessful settlement attempts, to refuse paying noneconomic damages to a policyholder for his underinsured motorist claim, given what Geico said is the "inherently subjective" nature of such damages.

  • February 26, 2024

    Texas Justices Say $220M Cobalt Deal Is A Loss Under Policy

    A $220 million settlement that now-bankrupt Cobalt International Energy Inc. reached with a group of investors constitutes a loss under the energy company's insurance policies, but the agreement is not binding on Cobalt's insurers to establish coverage, the Texas Supreme Court ruled.

  • February 26, 2024

    Insurance Co. Beats Claims Analysts' OT Exemption Suit

    A life insurance company prevailed against disability claim analysts alleging they were wrongfully denied overtime pay, as an Illinois federal judge tossed their suit because the workers are administrative employees exempt from overtime requirements.

  • February 23, 2024

    State Farm Alleges Health Co. Violated Deal To Drop 366 Suits

    Two State Farm units are accusing an automobile accident-focused healthcare center of wrongly pursuing 366 lawsuits against the insurer despite a settlement agreement State Farm said requires the facility to drop those suits.

Expert Analysis

  • Del. Ruling Could Affect D&O Claims Beyond SPACs

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    A Delaware state court recently held in Clover Health v. Berkley Insurance that directors and officers of a post-merger entity were insured persons under a special-purpose acquisition company's D&O policy, a ruling that could have potential ramifications for future D&O claims in Delaware outside of SPAC deals, say Geoffrey Fehling and Janine Hanrahan at Hunton.

  • A Missing Issue In 'Blank Space' Insurance Ruling

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    As Norwegian Hull Club v. North Star heads to trial in Florida federal court, the most interesting part of the court opinion denying summary judgment is the argument it doesn't address — contra proferentem, which could have been used to resolve the case's blank space ambiguity in the policyholder's favor, say Jeffrey Mikoni and Scott Greenspan at Pillsbury.

  • High Court Ax Of Atty-Client Privilege Case Deepens Split

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    The U.S. Supreme Court's recent dismissal of In re: Grand Jury as improvidently granted maintains a three-way circuit split on the application of attorney-client privilege to multipurpose communications, although the justices have at least shown a desire to address it, say Trey Bourn and Thomas DiStanislao at Butler Snow.

  • The Wide Oversight Implications Of Del. McDonald's Ruling

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    The Delaware Chancery Court's recent ruling that a McDonald's officer had oversight obligations on par with directors has wide-reaching implications for Delaware corporate law, including precedent for the court to hear sexual harassment claims, say attorneys at Fried Frank.

  • How Courts Are Clarifying D&O Policies' Bump-Up Provisions

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    The Seventh Circuit's recent decision in Komatsu Mining v. Columbia Casualty provides long-awaited appellate guidance on the inadequate consideration provision in directors and officers insurance — and the Fourth Circuit may provide more in its forthcoming ruling in Towers Watson v. National Union Fire Insurance, says Andrew Paliotta at Cozen O’Connor.

  • Crypto Coverage After FTX Fall: Crime And Custody Coverage

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    Cryptocurrency firm FTX's recent implosion provides a case study for potential crypto exposure under traditional insurance policies, and suggests carriers should ask some basic underwriting questions, including whether a company engages in transactions involving cryptocurrencies or holds digital assets in custody, says Anjali Das at Wilson Elser.

  • Wis. High Court Ruling May Open Door To Coverage Exception

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    The Wisconsin Supreme Court’s recent decision in Dostal v. Strand finding that an insurer had to defend a civil action following the defendant's criminal conviction on the same facts nonetheless may suggest an exception to the complaint test for determining an insurance company's defense obligation, say David Hollander and Clementine Uwabera at Stafford Rosenbaum.

  • Crypto Coverage After FTX Fall: Accountant And Atty Liability

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    The recent fall of cryptocurrency firm FTX highlights complexities regarding accounting and tax reporting for digital assets, and reveals lawyers’ potential liability exposure when providing services to crypto firms — as a result, insurers may face unintended vulnerabilities related to this nebulous landscape, say Anjali Das and Farzana Ahmed at Wilson Elser.

  • Anticipating Tech Market Volatility With R&W Policies

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    Technology executives, investors and their advisers should understand how representations and warranties insurance works ahead of a potential rise in claims activity and as deal makers focus on maximizing existing deals' value amid economic uncertainty, says Eric Larson at Morris Manning.

  • Crypto Coverage After FTX Fall: D&O Liability

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    The fallout surrounding the recent implosion of cryptocurrency firm FTX highlights potential crypto coverage exposure — including in the area of directors and officers liability — for insurance carriers in the evolving and largely misunderstood world of digital assets, says Anjali Das at Wilson Elser.

  • Litigation, Compliance And Enforcement In The 'Crypto Winter'

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    In 2022, cryptocurrency valuations plummeted, litigation proliferated and the "crypto winter" led to several high-profile bankruptcies, resulting in novel factual and legal questions being raised in areas like general commercial litigation, intellectual property, securities, bankruptcy, cybersecurity and compliance, say attorneys at Arnold & Porter.

  • The 7th Circ.'s Top 10 Civil Opinions Of 2022

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    Attorneys at Jenner & Block examine the most significant decisions issued by the Seventh Circuit in 2022, and explain how they may affect issues related to antitrust, the False Claims Act,​ ​federal jurisdiction and more.

  • Cultivating Good Relationships With Insurance Regulators

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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.