Specialty Lines

  • June 13, 2024

    Top Specialty Lines Decisions From The First Half Of 2024

    The first half of this year brought notable pro-policyholder rulings in specialty insurance disputes on the applicability of contract exclusions and related-acts provisions, but also some rulings giving insurers a leg up when it comes to choice-of-law clauses in maritime insurance contracts and bump-up exclusions. Here, Law360 breaks down the top specialty lines decisions so far in 2024.

  • June 13, 2024

    Youth Org. Not Covered For Ex-Worker's Claim, 6th Circ. Rules

    A sexual misconduct exclusion bars a youth advocacy organization's bid for coverage of an ex-employee's claim that they were sexually harassed and assaulted by a supervisor, the Sixth Circuit affirmed Thursday, saying the organization's failure to raise certain arguments before the district court was fatal to its appeal.

  • June 13, 2024

    High Court Sticks To Status Quo In Insurance-Packed Term

    The U.S. Supreme Court embraced an insurance-packed docket in its current term, tackling thorny coverage issues head on or indirectly, hewing close to the status quo in decisions whose impact will be felt by insurers and policyholders across the industry. Here, Law360 reviews the top insurance-related decisions issued this term.

  • June 13, 2024

    Prudential Investors Get Final OK On $35M Settlement

    A New Jersey federal judge on Thursday granted final approval to a $35 million class action settlement between Prudential Financial Inc. and shareholders who alleged the company hid the risks associated with the purchase of thousands of life insurance policies.

  • June 13, 2024

    NJ Justices Create New Liability Rule For Property Owners

    The New Jersey Supreme Court on Thursday voted 4-3 to craft a new rule stating that owners of commercial vacant lots have a duty to maintain the public sidewalks abutting the lots, and reinstated a woman's trip-and-fall injury suit.

  • June 13, 2024

    Calif. Insurance Chief Proposes Key Tradeoff In Reform Bid

    Insurers in California will need to weigh whether the financial benefits of using new risk models to price policies is worth increasing their risk exposure in some of the state's most fire-prone areas following newly proposed rules from state insurance regulators. 

  • June 13, 2024

    Insurance Litigation Week In Review

    The Eighth Circuit pondered whether Geico was responsible for an HPV infection, a Michigan court said lies could eliminate a dead man's payout, a Texas roofer was told that public adjusting wasn't a free-speech matter, and House of Cards' California suit withstood an insurer's attempt to knock it down.

  • June 13, 2024

    Insurer Calls Convicted Mogul's $633M IOU 'Worthless' Ruse

    Convicted insurance mogul Greg Lindberg has offered a "worthless" $633 million promise as a ruse to end an insurance company's bid to collect a $524 million arbitration award, a North Carolina federal court heard this week.

  • June 13, 2024

    Bond Denial Upheld For Army Construction Project

    An Illinois federal judge affirmed an arbitration award relieving two insurers of covering a $1.8 million bond issued to a subcontractor retained for a U.S. Army construction project, upholding the arbitrator's finding that the status of the project wasn't accurately represented at the time of bond procurement.

  • June 13, 2024

    Insurance Cases Remain High Despite 2023 Downturn

    Though insurance litigation in federal district courts took a slight dip in 2023, diverging from the upward trend that insurance cases have exhibited since 2016, the number of cases initiated last year remained the second-highest number filed over a 10-year span, according to a report by Lex Machina.

  • June 12, 2024

    8th Circ. Judge Calls Car Sex 'Clearly Foreseeable' In HPV Suit

    An Eighth Circuit judge said Wednesday that having sex in a vehicle is "clearly foreseeable," challenging Geico's contention that such activity does not constitute normal use of an automobile in a coverage suit over a woman's claim that she contracted HPV during sexual encounters in a policyholder's car. 

  • June 12, 2024

    Judge Won't Trim $18M Shareholder Settlement Coverage Suit

    A Pennsylvania federal judge declined to toss certain bad faith allegations against an insurer accused of wrongfully denying coverage for an $18 million settlement between an asset management company and a group of shareholders, adopting a magistrate judge's recommendation that the company sufficiently alleged its claim of bad faith.

  • June 11, 2024

    Precedent Favors Nationwide In Mich. Tax Fight, Judge Says

    A Michigan Court of Appeals judge said Tuesday that the state's tax agency was asking the court to turn its back on recent precedent to hold that Nationwide entities couldn't file as a unitary business to share insurance tax credits across their group members.

  • June 11, 2024

    Travelers Says No Coverage For Investment Bank's Bond Row

    A Travelers unit said it doesn't owe directors and officers coverage to an investment bank accused of misleading bondholders into investing in a sports complex development project, telling an Illinois federal court the policy bars coverage for claims arising from the bank's performance of services for a client.

  • June 11, 2024

    Brach Eichler Adds Insurance Pro From Garces Grabler In NJ

    Brach Eichler has continued a recent boom in its litigation team with the hire of a no-fault insurance expert from personal injury giant Garces Grabler & LeBrocq PC in New Jersey who also brings expertise as a former in-house attorney for GEICO.

  • June 10, 2024

    Ex-LA Chinatown Bank CFO Gets 3 Years For Embezzlement

    The former chief financial officer of a bank based in Los Angeles' Chinatown has been sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to bank fraud for embezzling more than $700,000 from his employer.

  • June 10, 2024

    High Court On Ch. 11, New Bank Rules, Alex Jones Ch. 7 Shift

    The U.S. Supreme Court said an insurance company has "party in interest" standing to intervene in a Chapter 11 case, the U.S. Department of Justice's bankruptcy watchdog "modernized" its agreement for banks holding debtor funds, and recent motions could pivot Alex Jones and his media company's Chapter 11s to Chapter 7 liquidations.

  • June 10, 2024

    AM Best Boosts Reinsurance Market Outlook To 'Positive'

    AM Best revised its outlook on the global reinsurance market Monday from "stable" to "positive," pointing to "robust" profit margins and a well-capitalized market amid a backdrop of higher interest rates, which AM Best said are not expected to decrease anytime soon.

  • June 07, 2024

    'House of Cards' Makers May Proceed With Coverage Suit

    The companies that produced the Netflix series "House of Cards" can proceed with their coverage suit over losses sustained during production of the final season after allegations of sexual misconduct against the show's lead, Kevin Spacey, came to light, a California state court said.

  • June 06, 2024

    Texas AG Takes Aim At Carmakers Selling Drivers' Data

    Texas' attorney general has become the latest to turn up the data-privacy heat on connected car manufacturers, revealing Thursday that his office has begun an investigation into how these companies amass and sell drivers' data to third parties, including insurance providers.

  • June 06, 2024

    Justices' Standing Ruling May Embolden Carriers In Ch. 11

    The U.S. Supreme Court said Thursday that an insurer with a responsibility for its policyholder's Chapter 11 bankruptcy claims can intervene in those bankruptcy proceedings, potentially giving insurers greater leverage in reorganization negotiations and likely causing an influx of insurer objections in bankruptcy court, experts tell Law360.

  • June 06, 2024

    Insurers' Climate Exposure Poses Risk To US Housing Market

    Climate risks to already strained insurance markets could significantly disrupt the U.S. housing market and the broader financial system, according to insurance, banking and housing experts, as well as a growing body of academic research leveraging new risk data.

  • June 06, 2024

    Insurer Off The Hook For $3.4M Nursing Home Death Verdict

    A Berkshire Hathaway unit needn't cover a $3.4 million default judgment entered against its insured in a wrongful death suit, an Illinois federal judge determined, finding that the insured nursing home "did not meet its own reporting and cooperation obligations under the policy."

  • June 06, 2024

    State Farm Escapes Policyholder's Life Insurance GIPA Suit

    An Illinois state court has permanently tossed a State Farm policyholder's privacy claims targeting family medical history questions the insurer asked as part of its life insurance underwriting process, agreeing with its argument that the state's Genetic Information Privacy Act doesn't apply to life insurance.

  • June 06, 2024

    8th Circ. To Mull If Geico Auto Policy Covers HPV Claim

    The Eighth Circuit will hear oral arguments Wednesday over whether Geico should cover $5.2 million awarded to a woman claiming she contracted HPV during sexual encounters in a policyholder's car, with the case turning on whether her bodily injury claim must arise from the normal use of an automobile.

Expert Analysis

  • ESG Around The World: Canada

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    In Canada, multiple statutes, regulations, common law and industry guidance address environmental, social and governance considerations, with debate over ESG in the business realm potentially growing on the horizon, say attorneys at Blakes.

  • Insured Takeaways From 10th Circ. Interrelated Claims Ruling

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    The Tenth Circuit's recent ruling in American Southwest Mortgage v. Continental Casualty that multiple claims arising from consecutive audit years were interrelated — and thus subject to a per claim limit — creates a concerning precedent for policyholders, so companies should negotiate relevant policy language, says Michael Stockalper at Saxe Doernberger.

  • Consider A Key Insurance Tool For Environmental M&A Deals

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    Transactional liability insurance can be a useful risk allocation tool for completing mergers and acquisitions in the renewable energy and climate and clean technology sectors, though policies must be structured carefully to achieve maximum coverage, say Joseph Castelluccio and Paul de Bernier at Mayer Brown.

  • Policyholders Must Object To Insurer Reorganizations

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    When insurance companies reorganize, policies often take years to ultimately pay out a fraction of what is owed, so policyholders should organize and urge insurance commissioners to take action when retroactive reinsurance deals are announced, says Jonathan Terrell at KCIC.

  • Ill. BIPA Ruling May Spark Violation-Of-Law Exclusion Fight

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    An Illinois appeals court's recent holding in National Fire Insurance v. Visual Pak that a violation-of-law exclusion didn't preclude coverage for an underlying Biometric Information Privacy Act suit contradicts an earlier Seventh Circuit decision that aligns with long-standing insurance law principles — which may lead the state's high court to weigh in, says Tae Andrews at Pasich.

  • NY Wrongful Death Law Revamp Retains Original's Drawbacks

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    If approved by New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, the Grieving Families Act will transform the landscape of wrongful death law in New York by increasing the potential for damages, raising insurance premiums, burdening hospitals and courts, stifling the economy and subjecting parties to the unsettling effects of retroactive legislation, say attorneys at Shaub Ahmuty.

  • SEC, NY Cybersecurity Rules Create Complexity For Insurers

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    Two separate cybersecurity rules recently adopted by the New York Department of Financial Services and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission pose distinct challenges for insurance industry participants, with important interactions, and potential tensions, for those required to comply with both frameworks, say attorneys at Debevoise.

  • Exploring Middle-Market M&A Trends In 2023 And Beyond

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    Middle-market merger and acquisition activity this year was affected by a number of economic, legal and regulatory shifts, with certain trends pointing to favorable transaction conditions in 2024, say Jason Brauser and William Goodling at Stoel Rives.

  • Del. Insurance Co. Liquidation Reveals Recovery Strategies

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    Arrowood's recent liquidation in the Delaware Chancery Court offers a positive development for policyholders and claimants, providing access to guaranty association protections amid the company's demise, say Timothy Law and Ann Kramer at Reed Smith.

  • The Basics Of Law Firm Cyber Liability Insurance Applications

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    Cyber liability insurance has become a common consideration for law firms as cyber threats have escalated, but these insurance forms can be quite complicated given the nature of the industry and associated risks, so simply filling out the form won't necessarily result in an ideal policy for your firm, says Kevin Haight at WAMS.

  • Insurance Considerations For Cos. Assessing New AI Risks

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    Because no two businesses will have the same artificial intelligence risk profile, they should consider four broad risk categories as a baseline for taking a proactive approach to guarding against AI-related exposures, say attorneys at Hunton.

  • AI Brings New Insurance Concerns For Healthcare Providers

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    As the healthcare industry increasingly invests in medical artificial intelligence tools, it confronts a variety of liability risks that necessitate careful consideration and potential recalibration of providers' insurance programs, say Marialuisa Gallozzi and Megan Mumford Myers at Covington.

  • 3 AI Regulation Developments Insurers Must Follow

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    Insurance regulators continue to actively develop regulations and guidance on the use of artificial intelligence, so insurers should be aware of recent developments from the Colorado Division of Insurance, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and the New York Department of Financial Services, say attorneys at Willkie.