Specialty Lines

  • 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.

  • February 23, 2024

    Insurance Litigation Week In Review

    From maritime contracts’ choice-of-law provisions to a question on how far an agency can steer companies from contracting with controversial groups, the past week saw two insurance-related cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, plus litigation over a mass shooting and a casino operator’s claims that its “unique” policy covers pandemic losses. Here, Law360 recaps the week's top insurance news. 

  • February 23, 2024

    The New BIPA? Attys Warn GIPA Is A 'Live Grenade'

    After notable appellate victories in biometric privacy cases, Illinois plaintiffs have seized upon a previously little-used law protecting workers' genetic privacy, leaving defense attorneys wondering if history will repeat itself and open companies to potentially explosive liability. 

  • February 23, 2024

    4th Circ. Won't Rethink Adviser's Defamation Coverage Denial

    A Fourth Circuit panel declined to reconsider its decision that an investment adviser is not owed coverage under her firm's professional liability policy for an underlying defamation lawsuit.

Expert Analysis

  • How Sonic Boom Risk Informs 'Physical Loss' For COVID Era

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    Applied to today's COVID-19 business interruption insurance battles, insurers' historical treatment of damage associated with sonic booms — or explosive sounds stemming from supersonic airplane speeds — may call into question the many court rulings barring coverage for pandemic-related losses on narrow physical loss grounds, say Peter Kochenburger at the University of Connecticut and Jeffrey Stempel at University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

  • Justices Must Apply Law Evenly In Shadow Docket Rulings

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    In recent shadow docket decisions, the U.S. Supreme Court has inconsistently applied the requirement that parties demonstrate irreparable harm to obtain injunctive relief, which is problematic for two separate but related reasons, says David Hopkins at Benesch.

  • Preparing For New Mandatory Cyber Reporting Rules

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    The requirements of a new federal law mandating cyber incident reporting for critical infrastructure will not become operational for several months, but affected companies should begin assessing whether their response plans incorporate critical policies and procedures to ensure compliance, say Steven Stransky at Thompson Hine and Lacy Rex at Oswald Companies.

  • What Cos. Can Glean From Early Cyber Policy Cases

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    Insurance claims for cyberattacks under cyber-specific policies have thus far been less contested than claims brought under commercial, crime and professional liability policies, however that may be changing, as cyber losses and liabilities continue to escalate and the market hardens, says Daniel Healy at Anderson Kill.

  • A Guide To Extrinsic Evidence In Determining Duty To Defend

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    As the eight-corners rule for the duty to defend is increasingly riddled with exceptions to its strict formulation of confining the analysis to only the language of the insurance policy and the underlying complaint, Richard Mason at MasonADR discusses the newest notable decisions and offers strategies for attorneys litigating the duty to defend.

  • What Insureds Should Look For In Excess Policies

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    A recent California appellate court decision, Truck Insurance Exchange v. Kaiser Cement, demonstrates how courts will protect policyholder expectations against primary insurance carriers' actions that might restrict available excess coverage, and highlights how insureds should be diligent in reviewing excess policies on primary erosion, say Courtney Horrigan and Elizabeth Taylor at Reed Smith.

  • Political Risk Insurance May Help Cos. Hurt By Russian War

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    As Russia’s war on Ukraine causes severe economic fallout, it’s crucial that U.S. companies with operations in the region understand what losses might be covered by their political risk insurance policies, and take steps to ensure that all available coverage is preserved and maximized, says Micah Skidmore at Haynes and Boone.

  • Recent Rulings May Support False Claims Act Coverage

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    Following a banner year for U.S. Department of Justice recoveries in False Claims Act cases and with FCA investigations likely to grow, companies and executives facing FCA exposures may find support in recent policyholder-friendly decisions for both their underlying defense and related insurance claims, says Geoffrey Fehling at Hunton.

  • Anticipating Cyberinsurance Wartime Exclusion Questions

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    Amid threats that Russia and Moscow-sponsored groups may increase malicious cyberattacks, businesses can mitigate risk by analyzing how war and hostilities exclusions apply to their insurance policies and maintaining a comprehensive record of government cyberattack warnings, say Steven Stransky at Thompson Hine, David Finz at Alliant and Rick Yocum at TrustedSec.

  • Check Your Policy Fine Print For Cyberwarfare Coverage

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    Given increasing risks of cyberwarfare following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and with a recent policyholder-friendly ruling in Merck v. ACE from a New Jersey state court, those insured should take notice of certain insurers' expansive changes to war exclusions to broadly include cyberattacks, say Philip He and Colin Kemp at Pillsbury.

  • How To Negotiate Better D&O Coverage For Antitrust Matters

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    In light of the Federal Trade Commission's recent indication that it will ramp up antitrust enforcement, Geoffrey Fehling and Christopher Dufek at Hunton discuss several issues corporate policyholders should review when placing and renewing directors and officers insurance coverage.

  • New 'Bad Faith' Claim Law Holds NJ Insurers Accountable

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    New Jersey’s recently enacted Insurance Fair Conduct Act, giving policyholders a bad faith cause of action for claims involving uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, is an important step toward countering unfair insurer advantage and expanding consumer protections, say attorneys at K&L Gates.

  • Insurance Implications Of Texas '8 Corners' Rulings

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    Two recent Texas Supreme Court opinions resolve a long-pending question by reaffirming the so-called eight-corners rule as the primary means for determining an insurer's duty to defend, which should provide greater consistency between future state and federal decisions, says Susan Kidwell at Locke Lord.