Property

  • February 26, 2024

    Liberty Cuts Off Drivers' Rentals Too Soon, Suit Claims

    Liberty Mutual systematically and arbitrarily ends replacement transportation coverage after seven days for policyholders whose vehicles are totaled in collisions, in violation of its own policy language, a proposed class action alleges.

  • 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

    State Farm Seeks Exit From Aircraft Designer's Explosion Row

    An aircraft design company is not owed coverage for five underlying lawsuits surrounding an explosion at an aeronautical test site that killed one employee, State Farm has told a California federal court, arguing that the underlying actions triggered multiple policy exclusions.

  • February 23, 2024

    La. Hotel Owner Must Arbitrate Hurricane Ida Damage Claims

    A Louisiana federal judge has ordered the owner of an extended-stay hotel near New Orleans to go to arbitration with a group of insurers over coverage for damage caused by Hurricane Ida, finding that the policy under dispute contains a valid arbitral clause.

  • 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

    Travelers Can't Duck Payout In Warehouse Fire Reversal

    A New York federal court has rejected Travelers' bid for additional discovery in a coverage dispute involving a textile importer whose goods were destroyed in a warehouse fire, after the Second Circuit vacated the insurer's early win in December and remanded for a judgment in the importer's favor.

  • February 26, 2024

    New York Pandemic Coverage Ruling Offers Few Surprises

    Businesses seeking insurance coverage for their pandemic losses were dealt yet another loss recently by New York's top court, a ruling that didn't surprise attorneys watching to see whether the Empire State might buck the trend of carrier victories.

  • February 23, 2024

    Insurance M&A Partner From Sidley Joins Kirkland

    Kirkland & Ellis LLP has added a corporate partner in its insurance transactions and regulatory and financial institutions practice groups, bringing on a former Sidley Austin LLP attorney who said he "couldn't be more excited" to join the firm's Chicago office.

  • February 23, 2024

    Judge Reverses Self, Says Hurricane Ad Suit Should Continue

    Reversing her earlier decision, a federal magistrate judge has issued a preliminary ruling in favor of a woman who alleges that troubled Houston law firm McClenny Moseley & Associates PLLC and associated companies bombarded Louisiana hurricane victims with illegal marketing.

  • February 23, 2024

    Trade Group Tells NC Justices COVID-19 Losses Not Covered

    A dozen North Carolina eateries are not owed coverage for pandemic-related losses, the American Property Casualty Insurance Association told the state's highest court, saying the policies at issue were never intended to cover economic damages "untethered" to physical loss or damage.

  • February 26, 2024

    Justices' Maritime Insurance Ruling Retains Tilted Status Quo

    When the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last week that an insurer can enforce choice-of-law provisions in a marine insurance policy it issued to the owner of a yacht that ran aground, it upheld existing practices that give insurers the upper hand over policyholders.

  • February 22, 2024

    ATV Accident Coverage Win Remanded Over Kid's Residency

    A Missouri appeals court remanded a lower court's decision over whether a father's farm insurance covered the $1 million in damages inflicted on his daughter after an ATV accident, saying that the central question of whether the child resided at her father's home or at his ex-wife's was still unresolved.

  • February 21, 2024

    Nationwide Says Walmart Should Pay NY Humidifier Fire Costs

    Walmart should pay for a $165,000 blaze ignited by a humidifier it sold to a Long Island, New York, woman, Nationwide told a New York federal court Wednesday.

  • February 21, 2024

    Uber Says Insurers Failed To Cover Dozens Of Injury Suits

    Uber's insurers failed to live up to their obligations to defend the company and its for-hire drivers in dozens of personal injury lawsuits, the ride-hailing giant claims in two suits filed in New York federal court, saying that the companies' conduct had a negative impact on thousands of New York City drivers.

  • February 21, 2024

    No Property Coverage For Maui Wildfire, Insurer Says

    A condominium association and its property manager have no coverage for property damage claims stemming from the 2023 Maui wildfires, their insurer told a Hawaii federal court, arguing that a property damage exclusion in their errors and omissions policy wholly bars coverage.

  • February 20, 2024

    Casinos Say 'Unique' Policy Should Cover $130M COVID Loss

    A casino operator with properties on the Las Vegas Strip and beyond told a Nevada federal court that its "unique" all-risk insurance is the broadest available coverage and should pay for $130 million in business interruption losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • February 20, 2024

    Eateries' Virus Losses Not Covered, Insurer Tells NC Justices

    Cincinnati Insurance Co. urged the North Carolina Supreme Court to affirm its win in a dispute with more than a dozen eateries over coverage for pandemic-related losses, saying government shutdown orders do not constitute direct physical loss or damage required to trigger coverage.

  • February 20, 2024

    Insurers Say Pollution Exclusion Bars Cancer Suits Defense

    An oil company accused of causing four people to develop cancer through exposure to harmful chemicals should not have coverage for its defense of the claims, according to four Nationwide units that told an Illinois federal court the company has no pollution coverage.

  • February 16, 2024

    4th Circ. Won't Revive Car Dealer's Hurricane Coverage Suit

    The Fourth Circuit declined to revive a South Carolina car dealership's lawsuit seeking coverage from an AIG unit for losses the business sustained from Hurricane Dorian in 2019, agreeing with a district court that there was no link between a government evacuation order and physical damage that would warrant civil authority coverage.

  • February 16, 2024

    Condo Co., Insurer Settle Proposed Class Action Coverage

    A Miami condominium, its former management company and various insurers agreed to settle coverage for a proposed class action accusing the condominium companies of allowing the building to deteriorate, a Florida federal judge said Friday, staying the coverage litigation while the parties finalize the deal.

  • February 16, 2024

    Barge Co., Insurer End Pollution Cleanup Coverage Fight

    A Washington barge company and its insurer reached an agreement in a dispute over coverage of legal expenses stemming from claims that the company was liable for environmental pollution at an EPA cleanup site, according to a notice filed in Washington federal court.

  • February 15, 2024

    No Coverage For Pandemic Losses, NY Top Court Rules

    A Texas-based restaurant operator isn't entitled to insurance coverage for its pandemic losses, New York's top court ruled Thursday, saying the operator didn't allege the kind of physical loss or damage required for coverage.

  • February 15, 2024

    Second Carrier Seeks To Toss Four Seasons Coverage Row

    A subcontractor's insurer joined another carrier in urging a New York federal court to dismiss a general contractor's lawsuit seeking coverage in a $1 million underlying action over damage to a Four Seasons hotel in midtown Manhattan, arguing that the faulty workmanship claims don't constitute an occurrence under its policy.

  • February 15, 2024

    Zurich Owes $554K Over Faulty Construction Work, Erie Says

    Erie Insurance Co. told a D.C. federal court Thursday that a Zurich unit wrongly denied coverage to Erie-insured subcontractors for over $554,000 in damage stemming from faulty work at a government agency renovation project, arguing Zurich has cited the wrong coverage form to deny liability.

Expert Analysis

  • COVID Coverage Cases Conflict With Insurer Documentation

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    A look at three court cases highlights a gap between successful insurer arguments made in litigation about policy text and the insurance industry's own understanding of the potential for property damage and business interruption coverage of virus- and disease-related claims, say professors at UConn, the University of Nevada and Queen's University.

  • Pandemic Losses Do Not Trigger Biz Interruption Coverage

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    Although Law360 has reported that there may be hope for policyholders seeking property insurance coverage for pandemic-related losses, basic contract principles and overwhelming case law show the opposite, say attorneys at Dentons.

  • 2 Calif. Insurance Decisions Question Boundaries Of Fortuity

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    Last month, California state and federal courts revisited fortuity issues in two decisions that show how the occurrence requirement and the California Insurance Code's prohibition on coverage for an insured's willful acts can be exceedingly difficult to apply to lawsuits alleging novel legal theories, say Jodi Green and Sophia von Bergen at Miller Nash.

  • Insurer Best Practices For NY Climate Risk Compliance

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    Insurers should view the New York Department of Financial Services' guidance on managing financial risks from climate change as a bellwether for state and federal regulation and should use the time before this summer's compliance deadline to prepare and implement an appropriate response strategy, say Jim Wrynn and Robert Stephens at FTI Consulting.

  • Assessing NFT Insurance Coverage Options And Gaps

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    Because non-fungible tokens do not come bundled with insurance policies, and until NFT-specific insurance policies become more common, NFT owners should proactively protect against risk by drawing upon existing frameworks, despite potential coverage gaps, say Brian Scarbrough and Edward Crouse at Jenner & Block.

  • Crypto And NFTs Could Change The Future Of Real Estate

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    As they grow increasingly popular, cryptocurrencies and nonfungible tokens may shape how real estate transactions are conducted and open the market to many new investors, but these changes are not without risk, says Hugo Alvarez at Cole Scott.

  • The Misinterpretation Of Pa.'s Bad Faith Claims Handling Rule

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    Courts applying Pennsylvania law in insurance coverage disputes, such as the recently decided Walker v. Foremost Insurance, and finding that where an insurer establishes that the subject claim is not covered by the insurer’s policy there can also be no bad faith claim by the insured, are inaccurately interpreting state law, say George Stewart and Max Louik at Reed Smith.

  • 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.

  • Ill. COVID Rulings Correctly Adopt Physical Loss Standard

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    In two recent decisions, Sweet Berry Cafe v. Society Insurance and Lee v. State Farm, Illinois appellate courts properly followed the Illinois Supreme Court's standard for physical loss when deciding COVID-19 business interruption cases, says Melinda Kollross at Clausen Miller.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Conn. Ruling Widens Scope Of Property Insurance Appraisals

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    After the Connecticut Supreme Court’s recent decision in Klass v. Liberty Mutual, holding that appraisers can apply the state’s matching statute when determining the amount of loss, insurers may not avoid appraisal on the sole basis that there is a coverage dispute, and policyholders will likely attempt to further expand the scope of appraisers' authority, says Peter Kelly Golfman at Zelle.

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