While insurers have been successful in dismissing most COVID-19 property damage claims, especially in federal court, many of the coverage issues that arise in federal court actions are resolved based on state law. When a federal court finds that resolution of a dispute is governed by state law and that there is no controlling state law precedent, the court may certify the state law question to that state’s supreme court for resolution.Continue reading “Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Certifies COVID-19 Question to the California Supreme Court”
Coverage disputes between US policyholders and non-US insurers like Underwriters at Lloyd’s of London continue to raise jurisdictional and related issues in US courts. The issues become further exacerbated when there is an arbitration clause in the insurance contract and the non-US insurer seeks to stay the coverage litigation and compel arbitration under the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards (the “New York Convention), to which the US and the UK and most EU countries are signatories.
In a recent case, a Louisiana federal court, hearing the case after removal from the state court, granted the insurers’ motion to stay litigation and compel arbitration.Continue reading “Arbitration Clause Upheld In Coverage Dispute”
When is broadcasting broadcasting as opposed to transmission? And is there a difference? That was the question before the court on an appeal from a judgment that an insurer did not have to defend its insured in a copyright infringement suit. The question was pertinent because of a media exclusion in the policy.Continue reading “The Meaning of Broadcasting and Its Application to a Media Exclusion”
It should be pretty obvious that you only get the insurance you ask and pay for. Yet, sometimes coverage is sought well beyond the scope of the policy. In a recent case, the court made short work of the issue, but nevertheless the case went all the way to an appeals court even though it was obvious there was no coverage.Continue reading “Insurance Coverage Only Goes So Far”
In many insurance policies, particularly directors and officers liability policies, coverage is precluded if one insured brings a claim against another insured. But what happens if one of the named plaintiffs is not an insured party? A recent Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals case addresses this issue.Continue reading “Insured vs Insured Exclusion Precludes Coverage”
Courts are tough on exclusions but when an exclusion is clear it will preclude coverage. In a recent case, an exclusion for bodily injury arising out of weapons resulted in a coverage case being dismissedContinue reading “Weapons Exclusion Precludes Coverage”
In coverage disputes, policyholders often seek communications between the insurance company and reinsurers to gain insights into the company’s views on the policyholder’s claims. Insurance companies generally resist production of reinsurance communications on various theories. In a recent case, the insurer invoked the “insurer-insured privilege.”Continue reading “No Privilege for Information Provided to Reinsurer”
Insurance coverage litigation often involves document production requests for reinsurance information and communications. Courts are mixed on granting motions to compel production of reinsurance information. But what happens to reinsurance-related evidence when it comes to trial? One court recently answered that question.Continue reading “Motion in Limine Granted Precluding Evidence of Reinsurance in Insurance Coverage Trial”
It was bound to happen sooner or later. Finally, an appellate court has weighed in on a COVID-19 property damage coverage dispute. This first appellate decision goes into the insurer win column. So what does it mean for future cases?Continue reading “What Does the First COVID-19 Appellate Decision Mean?”
Among the discovery sought in many insurance coverage disputes is reinsurance information. This may include the reinsurance contracts that reinsure the underlying policies and communications between the cedent and reinsurer concerning the reinsurance contract or the underlying losses. Courts have been all over the place on this issue, with some only allowing production of the relevant reinsurance contracts and others allowing broad discovery into all facets of reinsurance material.
In a recent case, the court granted reinsurance discovery and found that the insurers failed to meet their burden to avoid production.Continue reading “The Relevance of Reinsurance Information in a Coverage Dispute”